Thursday, January 24, 2013


I just chatted with a guy who has been running a clothing store for the past ten years; he had never heard the word "schmatta" before.  Oh, look it up.  


marcel said...

What is the subject of the verb "had ... heard"? My 1st thought was that it is "I", except that makes little sense in this context, i.e., "had ... heard" is meant to be part of the "who" clause. If the former, then I have no comment. If, as I believe, it is the latter, so it is the "guy who has been running the clothing store" who "has never heard" ... then I do have a comment.

To wit, if the store is J. Crew or something along those lines, I am not surprised. On the other hand, if it is Loehmann's, he clearly does not know his market.

Buce said...

He; post revised to clarify. Neither Loehmann's nor Crew; he was an owner manager.

The New York Crank said...

Like a flypaper catching winged insects, the Yiddish language picked up foreign words that stuck to it as it traveled. Shmateh (my transliterative spelling) was and most certainly still is a Polish word meaning rag.

Homework assignment: Go rent if you can "Knife in the Water," Jerzy Kosinki's movie. Look at the boat scene where the boat owner tosses a rag to his male passenger and tells him to clean up. As he tosses the rag, he says,"shmateh!: You think he thinks he's speaking Yiddish, maybe?

Let me answer that for you. No.

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank21 ncescng

Anonymous said...

I looked it up and was expecting something more along the lines of my Bullwinkle "Whatsamatta U" sweatshirt. ;-)