One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A rag; a ragged or shabby garment.
piece of cloth, bit of cloth, fragment of cloth, scrap of cloth, clothView synonyms
- ‘Hair unbound, women bedecked in shmattes of white tulle waft aimlessly around a stage hung with school-pageant clouds.’
- ‘‘Underneath the veil or shmatte, every woman wants to be loved and cherished,’ she said.’
- ‘His wife, though, simply has to lose that sash on her shmatte.’
1970s: Yiddish shmatte, from Polish szmata ‘rag’.
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