Word Origin & History
this letter group can represent five distinct sounds in English; it first was used by M.E. writers to render O.E. sc-, a sound now generally pronounced "-sh-." Sometimes it was miswritten for -ch-. It also was taken in from Ger. (schnapps) and Yiddish (schlemiel). In words derived from classical languages,
it represents L. sch-, Gk. skh- but in some of these words the spelling is a restoration and the pronunciation does not follow it (cf. schism).