me·​shug·​gen·​er | \ mə-ˈshu̇-gə-nər How to pronounce meshuggener (audio) \

Definition of meshuggener

: a foolish or crazy person

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.

First Known Use of meshuggener

1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for meshuggener

Yiddish meshugener, from meshuge

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The first known use of meshuggener was in 1900

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Cite this Entry

“Meshuggener.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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very cautious or careful

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