Word of the Day Archive
Saturday January 9, 2010
A weak-willed, timid, or ineffectual person.
You used to be a nebbish, a noodle, a fool
And now you're Mr. Big Time with your own private pool.
-- Maira Kalman, Max in Hollywood, Baby
Poor Humphrey is a nebbish, a fellow whose private passivity is intended to contrast with the dramatic historic events that sweep around him.
-- Mason Buck, review of The Red Cabbage Café, by Jonathan Treitel, New York Times, February 3, 1997
He is a nebbish who might be played effectively by Woody Allen. He attracts the sympathy of lower-echelon mammals but finds it difficult to relate to dogs and human beings.
-- Evan Hunter, "American Mayhem, Soviet Intrigue", New York Times, October 9, 1983
Nebbish is from Yiddish nebekh, "poor, unfortunate," of Slavic origin.