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  • noun

Synonyms for schlemiel

(Yiddish) a dolt who is a habitual bungler


References in periodicals archive ?
And Christof Wegelin writes, "And [Levin's] hope for a romantic marriage to nobility collapses not because the lady he courts turns out to be only the caretaker's daughter, not because she is less than he imagined, but because she treasures what she has suffered for in Buchenwald, treasures, that is, the very Jewish solidarity which he has denied by changing his name" ("The American Schlemiel Abroad: Malamud's Italian Stories and the End of American Innocence," Twentieth Century Literature 19, no.
Woody Allen writes: "The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God's mind--a pretty uncomfortable thought, particularly if you've just made a down payment on a house." (18) The existence of God is easily contested by the clumsy schlemiel that renounces Him, but, at the same time, needs Him, both to assuage his doubt and pain and to take care of more pragmatic aspects of life, such as a Swiss bank account.
The historical Jewish losers--the schlemiel (unintentional perpetrator of wrongdoing) and the schlimazel (unlucky recipient of wrongdoing) of European Yiddish humor--found few counterparts in the American nineteenth-century age of manifest destiny and an early twentieth-century age of empowered masculinity.
Its hero is a lovable schlemiel opposed by a wincingly evil character.
"Archetypal Silk: Wily Trickster, Tragic Mulatto, and Schlemiel in Philip Roth's The Human Stain." Studies in American Jewish Literature 26 (2007): 73-80.
Weingast's futile bid to unsettle divine authority is a Promethean narrative rewritten to place a schlemiel in the starring role.
Along with a group of friends called "the Whole Sick Crew," the self-styled schlemiel revels in his victimhood, allowing life to wash over him while becoming attached to "Shock," a crash-test dummy at a research facility where he works as a night watchman.
Thus, the neurotic schlemiel from the shtetl is whisked away to be planted firmly in Manhattan (1979) for all to watch.
Clearly, the story and its morals weighed on Andrew Bodnar, a former senior vice president at Bristol-Myers Squibb, who writes in his memoir that he was tempted to start his own work with a similar, and clever, phrase: "Call me Schlemiel."
Later in the drama, the shadowless "Schlemiel" makes his entrance.
Looking back on those years and her former comrades, she admits "the majority of us were just well-meaning half-educated schlemiels, and none a bigger schlemiel than I" (79-80).
The only character of her age (and mine) is Carol's straight feminist mother, Molly, whose husband, Carol's father, was killed in the Vietnam War, "while bombing a Vietnamese village on the Mekong Delta." Molly tells Carol, a chubby little girl in a Brownie uniform, that her father enlisted because he "got caught up in wanting to prove that Jews could be fighters," and refers to him from that time on only as "that schlemiel."
"Schlemiel, schlimazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated!" Unwind from a day of learning and join your colleagues in the heart of Milwaukee.
[2] Crimes and Misdemeanors develops through two parallel stories: of a doctor, Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau), who decides to have his mistress killed after she threatens the security of his marriage, and of a schlemiel, director Cliff Stern (WA), who fails in his attempts to find love, or any meaning in life.
You, as my neighbor, may know that you are an extremely cautious person while I am a schlemiel. You therefore know that as one who is less likely than I to set your house on fire accidentally, you are the better risk for homeowner's insurance.