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Related to nebbishes: tsoris, shlemiel, nebbishy, ganef, ganof


A person regarded as weak-willed or timid.

[Yiddish nebekh, poor, unfortunate, of Slavic origin; see bhag- in Indo-European roots.]

neb′bish·y adj.


(of a man) timid and submissive
a man who is timid and submissive


(ˈnɛb ɪʃ)

n. Slang.
a pitifully ineffectual, inept, and timid person.
[1890–95; < Yiddish nebekh poor, unfortunate, probably < Slavic; compare Czech nebohý poor]
neb′bish•y, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.nebbish - (Yiddish) a timid unfortunate simpleton
Yiddish - a dialect of High German including some Hebrew and other words; spoken in Europe as a vernacular by many Jews; written in the Hebrew script
simpleton, simple - a person lacking intelligence or common sense


A totally insignificant person:
Informal: pip-squeak, zero.
Slang: shrimp, zilch.


n (sl)Schlappschwanz m (inf)
References in periodicals archive ?
Though it is to be expected that during the course of a thousand years some less impressive types would ascend the throne, it is still somewhat dispiriting to read of such nebbishes as Elah (886-885 BCE), who got plastered while his courtiers ran the show, or Zimri (885 BCE), who set fire to his palace and went up with the flames after ruling for seven days.
Fiat can build the next generation of Jeep Patriot or Compass on an all-wheel-drive Fiat Panda chassis, and lose nothing in translation, because those fraudulent nebbishes are about as Jeep as I am a great Italian tenor.
In Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book, Gerard Jones writes the history of the comic book as the confluence of the energies of nebbishes, street kids, bullies, and racketeers, all caught up in the American Dream of making it big, and desperate to escape the confines of poverty-filled, Jewish immigrant childhoods.