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mensch antonym??

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mensch antonym??

Postby schott » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:16 am

I am fascinated by the Larry David character on the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" show.It occurred to me that he is the exact opposite of what can be described as a "mensch".But I have not been able to come up with an antonym that captures all the lovably boorish nuances of this character. Any suggestions?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:43 am

Jerk?

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Postby Flaminius » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:18 am

Something from Jiddisch or German? I don't know who is Larry David but meschugener (crazy) or prost (coarse and simple) would do the job.
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mensch antonym??

Postby schott » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:50 am

Thanks for your reply!
The character in question is egregiously crude while at the same time being hilariously funny. "Jerk" lacks the necessary nuance. Meshugener is too innocuous as is prost.
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:14 pm

I'd vote for Schmuck, but I'll check with a coworker when he gets back from lunch.
Regards//Larry

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-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Apoclima » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:58 pm

Schmuck sounds right to me, too, Larry!

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mensch antonym

Postby schott » Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:43 pm

But a "schmuck" is an outright, unregenerated dick-head. The term I am seeking has a modicum of saving grace adhering to it.
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Postby tcward » Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:56 pm

I'm confused how a mensch could have an opposite with any saving grace... I agree with schmuck in this case.

Besides, you can call someone a schmuck and still love him because he's family. Isn't that grace, too?

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Postby schott » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:10 pm

Guess I'm stuck with schmuck.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:09 pm

But a "schmuck" is an outright, unregenerated dick-head.

Can we say that here? Cool.

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Re: mensch antonym??

Postby Mistmi01 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:24 pm

schott wrote:Thanks for your reply!
The character in question is egregiously crude while at the same time being hilariously funny. "Jerk" lacks the necessary nuance. Meshugener is too innocuous as is prost.


I'd vote for Bulvan. Schmuck is probably too harsh...
Stacey

I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead.

~~~JB~~~
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Re: mensch antonym??

Postby Stargzer » Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:25 am

Mistmi01 wrote: . . .

I'd vote for Bulvan. Schmuck is probably too harsh...


I went through five Yiddish dictionaries before I found two that had it:

bulvan
(Yid.) ox-like person


Bulvan - Man built like an ox; boorish, coarse, rude person


Browsing through The Ariga Glossary of Yiddish Expressions I found a few other candidates:

Bohmer - Bum (masc.)
Chochem attick - A wise guy
Ganef - Crook, thief, burglar, swindler, racketeer
Groisser gornisht - Big good-for-nothing
Manzer - Bastard, disliked person, untrustworthy
Nebbish - A nobody, simpleton, weakling, awkward person
Nebechel - Nothing, a pitiful person; or playing role of being one
Nishtgutnick - No-good person
Nudnik - Pesty nagger, nuisance, a bore, obnoxious person
Nudje - Annoying person, badgerer (Americanism)
Opnarer - Trickster, shady operator
Parech - Low-life, a bad man
Paskudnik, paskudnyak - Ugly, revolting, evil person; nasty fellow
Prostak - Ignorant boor, coarse person, vulgar man
Proster mentsh - Vulgar man, common man
Shlemiel - Clumsy bunglar, an inept person, butter-fingered; dopey person
Shlepper - Sponger, panhanddler, hanger-om; dowdy, gossipy woman, free-loader
Shlub - A jerk; a foolish, stupid or unknowing person, second rate, inferior
Shmendrik - nincompoop; an inept or indifferent person; same as shlemiel
Shmo(e) - Naive person, easy to deceive; a goof (Americanism)
Shmok (taboo) - Self-made fool; obscene for penis: derisive term for a man
Shmulky! - A sad sack!
Shnorrer - A beggar who makes pretensions to respectability; sponger, a parasite
Traifnyak - Despicable person; on who eats non-kosher food
Trombenik - A bum, no-good person, ne'er-do-well; a faker
Tsutsheppenish - Hanger-on; unwanted companion; pest; nuisance
Yatebedam - A man who threatens; one who thinks he's a "big shot"; a blusterer
Yukel - Buffoon


Hmm . . . Manzer looks like a good candidate, or Nishtgutnick for a milder version.
Regards//Larry

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-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Flaminius » Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:13 am

The primary meaning of mamzer (> Jid. manzer) in Modern Hebrew is a bastard child but the word has developed a secondary meaning of (unexpectedly) good. For a small but durable engine, a car mechanic would say:
.זה קטן אכל ממזר
Ze qaTan aval mamzer.
It's small but strong.

I expected to find this sense in Larry's three Jiddisch dictionarys but was surprised not to find any.

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