me·​shug·​gen·​er mə-ˈshu̇-gə-nər How to pronounce meshuggener (audio)
plural meshuggeners
: a foolish or eccentric person
Whoever decided to remake The Producers in 2005 was a meshuggener.David Robson

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Meshuggener Has Yiddish Roots

From bagel and chutzpah to shtick and yenta, Yiddish has given English many a colorful term over the years. Meshuggener is another example of what happens when English interprets that rich Jewish language. Meshuggener comes from the Yiddish meshugener, which in turn derives from meshuge, an adjective that is synonymous with crazy or foolish. English speakers have used the adjective form, meshuga or meshugge, to mean "foolish" since the late 1800s; we've dubbed foolish folk meshuggeners since at least 1900.

Word History


Yiddish meshugener, from meshuge

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of meshuggener was in 1900


Dictionary Entries Near meshuggener

Cite this Entry

“Meshuggener.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

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