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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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)]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


A Yiddish word used to mean an unlucky, clumsy, or long-suffering person.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


schlemihl [ʃləˈmiːl] N (US) (= clumsy person) → persona f desmañada; (= unlucky person) → persona f desgraciada
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


, schlemihl
n (US inf) → Schlemihl m, → Pechvogel m; (= awkward person)Tollpatsch m (pej)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
- chronically-ill schlemiel (@ntafraidofruins) ( March 1, 2019[twitter-tweet]
Continue reading "Harold Loeb, Hemingway's Schlemiel" at...
(Hutchings) Allen repudiates the schlemiel: the real and the ideal may be harmonized in and through the schlemiel's complete change, his aim being personal salvation.
He is no longer just a literary name, he says, but an established literary personality who engages much of his current readership online as a celebrity known for his comic persona: a not-quite assimilated Russian Jewish immigrant, amusingly disheveled and blundering, part Slavic clown, part schlemiel. He covers The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, Super Sad True Love Story, Little Failure, and Shteyngart and American literary celebrity.
Wisse, The Schlemiel as Modern Hero [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971], 74, 75, 79).
He is both a Superhuman and an Everyman, an uber-mensch and a schlemiel" (85).
A campus novel in the spirit of Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim, it chronicles the pathetic failings and mishaps of Sefton Goldberg--an "overtly Jewish" anti-hero with "an undistinguished schlemiel's name"--a teacher of English in his mid-thirties at Wrottesley Polytechnic in the West Midlands.
Learn the difference between a schlemiel and a mensch or when to kvetch rather than kibbitz and find out why a lot of Sol Meyer customers leave the place feeling downright schmaltzy.
Continuing in this spirit, Harvard University language and cognition expert Steven Pinker said in an email to The Washington Post that "Many goyim are confused by the large number of Yiddish words beginning with 'schl' or 'schm' (schlemiel, schlemazzle, schmeggegge, schlub, schlock, schlep, schmutz, schnook) and use them incorrectly or interchangeably."
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.
Torture Another Schlemiel While Imagining They Are Dylan's True Heirs', Tablet, 21 November 2013, < -culture/153484/coen-brothers-inside-llewyn-davis>, accessed 9) November 2014.