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A.Word.A.Day--schmaltz

Pronunciation RealAudio

schmaltz (shmahlts) noun, also schmalz

1. Exaggerated sentimentality, especially in art, music, movies, etc.

2. Fat or grease, especially chicken fat.

[From Yiddish shmalts (rendered fat, sentimentality), from Middle High German smalz. Ultimately from the same Indo-European root mel- (soft), which gave us malt, melt, mollify, smelt, and enamel.]

"McCartney's piano playing is Vegas-lounge schmaltz."
Graham Reid; The Beatles: Let It Be ... Naked; New Zealand Herald (Auckland); Dec 13, 2003.

"Don't worry, Miracle (on 34th Street) fans. The schmaltz has been left intact. The new version isn't better than the original or even as good, but it's awfully entertaining -- for those of us who like that sort of thing."
Julie Salamon; Film: Survival in China; Wall Street Journal (New York); Nov 17, 1994.

This week's theme: Words borrowed from Yiddish

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