[Ads-l] "The whole schmeer/schmear" [Antedating, 1901, with a hint at 1900]

Gordon, Matthew J. GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue May 25 15:59:16 EDT 2021


And "smear case" survives as a regional term for cottage cheese in German settlement areas like central PA, or at least it was alive when the linguistic atlas work was done in the mid 20th century.

Matt Gordon


´╗┐On 5/25/21, 2:29 PM, "American Dialect Society on behalf of Dan Goncharoff" <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU on behalf of thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

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    Just thought I would mention that "schmeer-case" makes me think of
    "schmearkase", the original name of cottage cheese.
    DanG


    On Tue, May 25, 2021 at 3:20 PM Bonnie Taylor-Blake <b.taylorblake at gmail.com>
    wrote:

    > OED has for its earliest example for "the whole schmear/schmeer" one from
    > Wisconsin, January 1909, which surprises me since I had assumed this was a
    > 1930s Hollywood or New York thing. (In the 1909 case it's "schmeer.")
    >
    > What follows are some earlier appearances.
    >
    > -- Bonnie
    >
    > -----------------------
    >
    > Instead of marking our silk waists at $1.25 and $1.50 yd, what they are
    > actually worth -- we want a big silk sale and have consequently placed the
    > whole "schmeer" on sale at [blank] Fair Price 99c yd If they are not worth
    > $1.25 to $1.50 yd don't buy. (From an advertisement in The Halstead
    > [Kansas] Independent, 14 March 1901, p. 8. That "[blank]" indicates just a
    > blank space -- no doubt a printer was to insert a price or similar there.)
    >
    > Jim's rathskeller was crowded and the flowing bowl passed freely. The whole
    > schmear was there, and everybody had a large, lovely time. (From "Stein
    > Shower a Big Success; Jim Dowdmeier Entertained His Friends Friday Night at
    > His Home in Lewisburg," The [Covington] Kentucky Post, 11 June 1904, p. 1.)
    >
    > -----------------------
    >
    > By the way, an article about a baseball game published in April, 1900
    > included "thus retiring the whole schmeer-case, as it were," because
    > Oakland shortstop Schmeer was involved in the play. It's possible that
    > "whole schmeer-case" is a play on "the whole schmeer," but I don't think
    > that's solid and I'm unsure what "case" means here. (The Evening Mail
    > [Stockton, CA], 16 April 1900, p. 2.)
    >
    > Finally, here's one from December, 1909, so later than the OED's example,
    > but I was interested in its appearance in Nebraska.
    >
    > -----------------------
    >
    > Dear reader, did you ever see angels in your dreams? Cross-eyed angels with
    > green Santa Claus whiskers and horns like a Texas steer? The writer did,
    > and the whole schmear was caused by eating an indigestible supper Wednesday
    > evening. But it wasn't a blamed bit funny while it lasted. (The Norfolk
    > [Nebraska] Press, 24 December 1909, p. 1.)
    >
    >
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