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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — schmooze

Good morning, Netizens...

December 14, 2012

Word of the Day

  • schmooze
  • audio pronunciation
  • \SHMOOZ\


: to converse informally : chat; also : to chat in a friendly and persuasive manner especially so as to gain favor, business, or connections

Conference attendees will have plenty of chances to schmooze with the industry's power players.

"Children were given the opportunity to try on costumes, test their balance on a mini tightrope or schmooze with the clowns." — From an article by Sara Schweiger in the Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts), October 4, 2012


"Schmooze" (also spelled "shmooze") is one of a small, but significant, number of words borrowed from Yiddish that have become relatively common parts of the English language. Other such words include "chutzpah," "lox," "maven," "mensch," "nebbish," "schlep," and "schlock." Though classified as a High German language, Yiddish also borrows from the Slavic and Latinate languages as well as from Aramaic and Hebrew. It was the Hebrew "shěmu’ōth" ("news, rumor") that provided Yiddish with the noun "shmues" ("talk") and the verb "shmuesn" ("to talk or chat"). Although originally used in English to indicate simply talking in an informal and warm manner, "schmooze" has since also taken on the suggestion of discussion for the purposes of gaining something.

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.