meshuggener

noun me·shug·gen·er \ -ˈshu̇-gə-nər \

Definition of meshuggener

: a foolish or crazy person

meshuggener was our Word of the Day on 11/19/2016. Hear the podcast!

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up meshuggener? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sticky or viscid

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!