Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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shemozzle

shemozzle (sheh-MAWZ-l) - n., a noisy confusion or dispute, muddle, uproar.


Unlike most terms borrowed from Yiddish, this is not used much in American English -- it's mostly British and Australian usage. This is possibly because it was borrowed in the 19th century, earlier than the bulk of Yiddish's influence on American speech. (I'm not finding a year, though -- does anyone have access to a dictionary that has it?) Note that the meaning has drifted: Yiddish שלימזל (shlimazl) means misfortune, coming from Hebrew שלא מזל (shellōmazzāl), which parses out as "from bad luck". So, yes, same luck root as mazel tov.

I had to struggle through the shemozzle in the lobby to get out of the hotel, with the cops only a few seconds behind me.

---L.
Tags: hebrew, noun, s, yiddish
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