Definition of meshuggener
: a foolish or crazy person
meshuggener was our Word of the Day on 11/19/2016. Hear the podcast!
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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.
Origin and Etymology of meshuggener
Yiddish meshugener, from meshuge
First Known Use: 1900See Words from the same year
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