A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Mon Feb 28 22:52:52 UTC 2000

I don't know what the context was on the M*A*S*H episode, but a "shmatte"
is a "rag", "tattered piece of cloth". According to Leo Rosten from the
Polish "szmata" (=rag).

maberry at

On Mon, 28 Feb 2000, Tom Kysilko wrote:

> Andrea wrote:
> > For a pejorative Yiddish term for cheap
> >trinkets/souvenirs/gee-gaws, I would use "schlock".
> There's also "shmatte".  The word is probably not so well-known as schlock,
> but it was put by the writers of M*A*S*H (the TV show) into the mouth of
> Hawkeye Pierce in one episode.
> And this reminds me:  a possible source for a "tchotchke" antedate
> (remember Ms. Hall's original request?) would be from Leo Rosten's
> pre-"Joys of Yiddish" (1968) writings, including "The Education of
> H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N".
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>   Tom Kysilko        Practical Data Services
>   pds at       Saint Paul MN USA
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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