Reader Dave Reason (who admits to not being Jewish, but I have reason to believe may be Canadian) wants to know if I, of much useless linguistical knowledge, can help him with a wordsmithing challenge:
I have always used the expression “schmecks,” meaning “fits” or “works
for me.” For example, “I have been thinking about what to do on my
vacation, and the idea of going to Mexico schmecks.” A certain person here says there no such word or
expression, and gee, even the sainted Wikipedia seems to know nothing of
it. Have you ever heard of it?
Dave, I gotta say I never hoid of “schmeck,” though of course it sounds an awful lot like “schmuck,” so at first I was thinking “oy, this poor goy, he’s been telling people he wants to go act like a dickhead in Mexico.” But I put my researching skills (and picking through Google results is a skill, people) to work:
While there wasn’t an exact match on the Yiddish Dictionary, “shmek” translates into a “whiff,” as in “I opened the hamper and got a shmek of your socks; dude, use the Melaleuca foot spray already.” However, on the same search the YidDic lists “shmekele” as “little penis,” which isn’t the direction in which we’re wanting to travel, my mamaloshen-luvin’ mishpotechen.
I then found my way to Edna Staebler’s popular Mennonite cookbook
More Food That Really Schmecks, leading to me to believe schmecks might be a synonym for “may cause a heart attack.” Tasty-lookin’ fare, but a little on the beige side for my taste, and not matching Dave’s usage.
Since Yiddish and German overlap linguistically at times, I thought to take a gander at the German permutations of “schmeck,” all of which have gastronomical connotations like “tasty,” “lip-smackin’,” and “that tastes like scheissdreck.”
In this context Miz Edna’s title makes sense, but fails even further to support Dave’s definition.
Urbandictionary.com contains an entry for “schmeck,” but I’m guessing it’s about as far from validating our friend Dave as one could get:
(n.) Gay motherfucker, frequently the object of affection of the men of Boston. Frequently plays with PuBEs. (There is no further clarification to be found on the term “PuBe;” perhaps my boys in Boston can elucidate?)
So Dave sorry, man. All I came up with is penis whiff, tasty potato pie and bottoms from Beantown. But language is a fluid thing, always changing, some words dropping out of the lexicon from neglect and others gaining momentum. The future of “schmeck” is in your hands, friend go make your definition official!