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primate-shmimate [prefix shm- / schm-]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by SoLaTiDoberman, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. SoLaTiDoberman Senior Member

    Japan
    Japanese-Tokyo
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2226217

    Hi.
    Could you please tell me what "shmimate" is, if it is an English word?
    I couldn't find it in the dictionary.
    I thought it might be typo, but there are 300 hits at google search.
    I guess the meaning is "or something like that".

    Thank you.
    So La Ti Do-berman
     
  2. Fabulist Senior Member

    Annandale, Virginia, USA
    American English
    American expression, derived from Yiddish. One can dismiss anything by replacing the first consonant with the sound "sh," sometimes spelled "sch" (as it is in German, of which Yiddish is a variety), or putting an "sh" in front of the word. My brain is fried right now so I can't think of another example. Maybe:

    "That costs a lot of money."
    "Money-shmoney, we need it."
    or
    "Money-shmoney, we're rich."
     
  3. Cagey non modo mod

    California
    English - US
  4. SoLaTiDoberman Senior Member

    Japan
    Japanese-Tokyo
    Oh, thank you.

    I couldn't find it in the dictionary, because my brain was still in the state of monkeys and never thought of separating it.

    So the original sentence;
    "Neither a chimpanzee nor an orang-utan is a "monkey," but primate-shmimate"
    means something like;
    Neither a chimpanzee nor an orang-utan is a "monkey" but a primate, though I don't want to make a big thing out of it.
    Neither a chimpanzee nor an orang-utan is a "monkey" but a primate, though it's merely a trivia thing.

    Am I on the right track now?
     
  5. exgerman Senior Member

    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    It means it doesn't matter which primate, one primate is as good as any other for my purposes.
     
  6. Fabulist Senior Member

    Annandale, Virginia, USA
    American English
    Yes, you are.
     
  7. SoLaTiDoberman Senior Member

    Japan
    Japanese-Tokyo
    Thank you, exgerman and Fabulist.
     

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