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also shle·miel  (shlə-mēl′)
n. Slang
A habitual bungler; a dolt.

[Yiddish shlemíl, perhaps from Hebrew šəlūmî'ēl, my well-being is God, Shelumiel (a character in the Bible, Numbers 7:36) : šəlūmî, my well-being (šālôm, well-being; see šlm in Semitic roots + , my) + 'ēl, God; see ʔl in Semitic roots.]


(ʃləˈmiːl) ,




slang US an awkward or unlucky person whose endeavours usually fail
[Yiddish, from German, after the hero of a novel by Chamisso (1781–1838)]


or shle•miel


n. Slang.
an awkward and unlucky person for whom things never turn out right.
[1890–95; < Yiddish shlemil < Hebrew shəlumī'ēl Shelumiel, a Biblical figure]


A Yiddish word used to mean an unlucky, clumsy, or long-suffering person.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.schlemiel - (Yiddish) a dolt who is a habitual bungler
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


schlemihl [ʃləˈmiːl] N (US) (= clumsy person) → persona f desmañada; (= unlucky person) → persona f desgraciada


, schlemihl
n (US inf) → Schlemihl m, → Pechvogel m; (= awkward person)Tollpatsch m (pej)
References in periodicals archive ?
A three essay "Schlemiel Studies" section proves emblematic of this approach, proclaiming the Schlemiel as a distinctive Jewish character and then labeling Allen's characters as Schlemiels-by-presumption.
Its hero is a lovable schlemiel opposed by a wincingly evil character.
Archetypal Silk: Wily Trickster, Tragic Mulatto, and Schlemiel in Philip Roth's The Human Stain.
But I like it better when I get one of my rare, catastrophe-induced chances to peek behind the canvas and glimpse the sweating, Wizard of Oz schlemiel whose job is to keep the rides and attractions running.
Along with a group of friends called "the Whole Sick Crew," the self-styled schlemiel revels in his victimhood, allowing life to wash over him while becoming attached to "Shock," a crash-test dummy at a research facility where he works as a night watchman.
Thus, the neurotic schlemiel from the shtetl is whisked away to be planted firmly in Manhattan (1979) for all to watch.
Basically, the WASP, Jack, is a jerk and the Jew, Greg, is a schlemiel, and the schlemiel wins.
Looking back on those years and her former comrades, she admits "the majority of us were just well-meaning half-educated schlemiels, and none a bigger schlemiel than I" (79-80).
Arendt's four types are the schlemiel, the political rebel, the suspect and the man of goodwill.
Halldorson reminds us early on that Pynchon's shabby schlemiel, which has become the dominant manifestation of contemporary American literary heroes, need not be the last word.
SCHLEMIEL - (See above) SCHMALTZ - Sickly-sweet (Although literal translation is 'chicken fat').
Schlemiel that he was; under the chuppa--three times it took to crush the wine glass.