schlemiel or schlemihl or shlemiel

One of the main benefits of the web is the mass of totally meaningless information that is just waiting to be discovered. It could be used for amusement, procrastination or actual meaningful use (whatever that is…)

A fantastic resource is the old fashioned A.Word.A.Day mailing list administered by Anu Garg. It’s a daily email with an interesting word, with its background, meaning, etymology, pronounciation and more. Just check out some excerpts from the information about today’s word: schlemiel

MEANING:
noun: An inept, clumsy person: a habitual bungler.
ETYMOLOGY:
From Yiddish shlemil, from Hebrew Shelumiel, a Biblical and Talmudic figure who met an unhappy end, according to the Talmud. Earliest documented use: 1892.
NOTES:
No discussion of schlemiel would be complete without mentioning schlimazel, one prone to having bad luck. In a restaurant, a schlemiel is the waiter who spills soup, and a schlimazel is the diner on whom it lands.
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