A-Z Database

A-Z Database

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Schlep

Meaning a long and tedious task or journey is early 20th century slang from America. James Joyce makes use of the word in his 1922 novel Ulysses. As w...

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Schlong

American slang for penis dates from the mid-20th century, from the Yiddish shlang meaning snake.


Schmaltz

American word for excessive, banal sentimentality dates from c. 1935 and derives from the Yiddish shmalts, which means melted fat. (The modern German...

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Schmo

see Schmuck


Schmooze

Talk intimately or ingratiatingly, or one who does so, an American expression from the late 19th century, from the Yiddish schmues to chatter idly.


Schmuck

Contemptible person, American slang dates from the late 19th century. This word is so vulgar as to be almost taboo in most Jewish homes. For this reas...

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Schnozz

Sometimes also in the form of schnozzle this is mid-20th century American slang for nose. It was made famous by Jimmy Durante, the American singer and...

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Schnozzle

see Schnozz


Scholar and a gentleman

Not many people realise they are quoting the Scottish poet Robert Burns when they use this expression, but the original phrase was the other way round...

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Schtuk

To be in schtuk is to be in trouble or difficulties, especially financially and dates from the late 19th century. It derives from the Yiddish Schtuk i...

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Schtum/shtoom

Variously spelt shtum, shtoom or stumm means to keep quiet and say nothing. It looks like another of those words from Yiddish but a more likely origin...

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Scorched earth

Military strategy term means to burn and lay waste everything that could be of use to an enemy. The practice is of course extremely ancient and goes b...

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Scot-free

This is one of the oldest expressions in the language and now means without cost or penalty. It has nothing to do with Scottish frugalness or indeed w...

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Scouse/scouser

Both these words signify a native of Liverpool and date from the late 19th century. The origin is obscure but the most commonly suggested etymology is...

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Scram

Go away, be off, US slang dates from the early 20th century, thought to be an abbreviation of scramble.


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