“I googled “shmohawk,” the radio host says looking skeptically over the microphone. She says she did an online word search for “shmohawk” and came up with this description: “a horrible driver.” The look on her kisser says: “what’s going on?”
I can only sputter – cuz it ain’t how I’ve described da Shmohawk here on my own blog.
There’s lessons to be learned from this exchange, mes amis. So listen up.
First, never believe everything Google tells you.
Second, follow Google’s reference to “a horrible driver” and the trail will lead you to a skit on Larry David’s TV show, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (YouTube video here).
Larry David’s character (no relation) shouts “shmohawk” to some dumb ass behind the wheel of another vehicle on the road. He may or may not tell you that “shmohawk” and “shmuck” mean the same thing.
Third and lastly, one Yiddish dictionary (Bubby Gram) describes “shmohawk” thus:
Shmuck: Literally, “jewel” Another of the many Yiddish words for “penis.” (perhaps the same meaning as “family jewels.”) Although it has the same general meaning as putz, a shmuck often refers to someone with greater power or social/emotional status; someone who’s intentionally nasty or uses their power for ill, whereas a putz is more ineffectual, easier to dismiss because he’s beneath consideration or has no real effect on your life. (It’s the difference between “jerk” and “total a$$hole.” — It’s a very subtle difference, I grant you, and the line is often blurry.) Note: I recently had an almost Talmudic discussion with my brother-in-law about this subtle difference between a putz and a shmuck, and he summed it up perfectly: “One is erect, the other is limp.”
© 2003 – 2012 Adrienne E. Gusoff/Bubbygram.com All rights reserved – It’s not nice to steal!!!
Another Yiddish dictionary had a simpler description of the word “shmohawk”: a trouble-maker or a male appendage. I prefer this one. I’ve used it in my profile (“About Shmohawk“) at the top of my blog.