Definition of kibitzer
- a kibitzer at a card game
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a nosy kibitzer who always knows who is dating whom
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The Yiddish language has given English some particularly piquant terms over the years, and "kibitzer" (or "kibbitzer") is one such term. "Kibitzer," spelled "kibitser" in Yiddish, came to that language from the German word kiebitzen, meaning "to look on (at cards)." "Kiebitzen" may or may not be derived from a German word for "lapwing," a type of bird noted for its shrill and raucous cry. (We can speculate that the bird’s cry reminded people of the shrill commentary of onlookers at card games.) The word became more popular and widespread after the 1929 play The Kibitzer came out. Although "kibitzer" usually implies the imparting of unwanted advice, there is a respectable body of evidence for a kibitzer as a person simply making comments.
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