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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Is The PR Being A Schmuck About The Term Tea Bagger?

At its website the Press-Republican allows comments to be posted about various articles. But there is this warning:

Don’t use profanity. This includes the term “tea bagger.”

Fine. Then if that applies to article comments, how did this Speakout item slip by the editor? (You can read it online here.)

11/2/10 Smoke

To the schmuck who wrote Fires on 10/25; I do believe smokers are already outside, and the real "whiners" still aren't happy...

That's nice. Check out this source:


schmuck — n slang ( US ) a stupid or contemptible person; oaf

OK, nothing wrong with that by itself but there's more to the story. At the above link is an explanation of the word's origin by the Online Etymology Dictionary:

"contemptible person," 1892, from E.Yiddish shmok, lit. "penis," from Old Pol. smok "grass snake, dragon."

This source also notes:

In Jewish homes, the word was "regarded as so vulgar as to be taboo" [Leo Rosten, "The Joys of Yiddish," 1968] and Lenny Bruce wrote that saying it on stage got him arrested on the West Coast "by a Yiddish undercover agent who had been placed in the club several nights running to determine if my use of Yiddish terms was a cover for profanity."

Below that source is this listing from the Slang Dictionary.

1. n.
a jerk; a repellent male. (Also a rude term of address. Yiddish.) : Who is that stupid schmuck over there?

2. n.
a penis. (Yiddish. Usually objectionable.) : If I hear that joke about a camel's schmuck one more time, I'm going to scream.

Yup. According to PR logic, Tea Bagger is profane but schmuck/penis isn't.


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