phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Hasenpfeffer incorporated

Posted by ESC on June 22, 2003

In Reply to: Shlemiel shlimazl posted by ESC on June 22, 2003

: : Laverne and Shirley used to open their comedy series with, "Shlemeil, Shemozzl ..." What does it mean?

: I can help with the first two words of that bit:

: From "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten (Pocket Books, New York, 1996):

: shlemiel, schlemiel, shlemiehl, shlemihl - carries a distinctive note of pity. In fact, a shlemiel is often the nebech's (sad sack, loser, nothing) twin brother. The classic definition goes: A shlemiel is always knocking things off a table; the nebech always picks them up.

: shlimazl, shlimazel - chronically unlucky person; someone for whom nothing seems to go right or turn out well.

: I imagine the rest is a children's song. Are they playing hopscotch when they sing it? I don't remember.

From another site:

"How about that old Laverne and Shirley theme song? You know..."Shlemiel, shlimazl, hasenpfeffer incorporated..." A Shlemiel is someone who is clumsey or a chronic screwup. A Shlimazl is someone who is chronically unlucky. So a Shlemiel spills the beer on the Shlimazl. (Incidently, hasepfeffer is peppered rabbit stew. Go figure.)"