Word of the Day: meshuggener
Meshuggener (noun) muh-SHUG-uh-ner
: a foolish or crazy person
“What kind of meshuggener would apply the small plates concept to Jewish comfort food, which is all about abundance and appetite?” — Tracey Macleod, The Independent(United Kingdom), 16 Dec. 2011
“Whoever decided to remake The Producers in 2005 was a meshuggener. There will certainly not be a remake of The Frisco Kid, a film from 1979—[Gene] Wilder plays a rabbi who rides into trouble in the Wild West. Don’t go there!” — David Robson, The Jewish Chronicle Online, 1 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
From bagel and chutzpah to shtick and yenta, Yiddish has given English many a colorful term over the years. Meshuggener is another example of what happens when English interprets that rich Jewish language. Meshuggener comes from the Yiddish meshugener, which in turn derives from meshuge, an adjective that is synonymous with crazy or foolish. English speakers have used the adjective form, meshuga or meshugge, to mean “foolish” since the late 1800s; we’ve dubbed foolish folk meshuggeners since at least 1900.
Alright, I admit it. It was hard finding images related to today’s word without insulting someone. So, please forgive me. I selected what I thought were safe images. They include artwork, cartoons, and a safe banner image.
I will admit, as someone who grew up in the New York City metropolitan area, I was introduced to the term early in my life. I have always thought of it as slang, so seeing in in Merriam-Webster’s word of the day shook me up a bit.
I grew up with people who used to insult or ridicule a person or group. That’s not my style. Personally, I have never used the word, except as an exercise in using it in a sentence. I probably won’t ever.
I hope you like the images I chose, as well as the sexy bonus pic you will get if you share this post via Twitter.
I love learning the different contexts of these words of the day. Do you? Please share your comments. I’m sure we would all like to read them.
Have a great day.