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What's a schnickelfritz?

Mafalda

New Member
Have you ever heard of the Word "Schnickelfritz"? I just heard it in "Gilmore Girls" and it is without any doubt by german ancestry, but I don't know what this word means even though I'm German. In Germany we don't use this word (anymore?). I used google to find out more about this word and some people assumed it may be a misshearing of the word "schnuckelputz" which sounds very similar in German. "Schnuckiputz" is a term of endearment, mostley used for little kids and means sweetie.

Do you use the Word "Schnickelfritz"? What do you want to say if you use this word? I'm really interessed about the etymology of this word and hope somebody can help me. :)
 

Mafalda

New Member
1/15 (Christopher Returns). Lorelai calls the Hadyens "Schnickelfritzens", but I don't know in which context.
 

tundra

New Member
I found two links saying that it's a term of endearment meaning "you little rascal." One and two. Apparently it's no longer in use.
 

Madeline

New Member
I use it on my feisty schnauzer all the time :D :D :D
She talks all the time and guards the neighborhood from the front window. (loudly);)
 

Mafalda

New Member
It's funny to learn something about a german word in an english-speaking forum. Thanks! I never heard of the song "schnitzelbank", maybe it's a very old one. It's funny, though. I guess "schnickelfritz" was a guy named Fritz Schnickel, Schnickel is a common surename in Germany. Maybe Fritz Schnickel was a little rascal, I don't know. I don't find any information to this name by using google.
 

Ivan.Chonkin

New Member
schnickelfritz

Have you ever heard of the Word "Schnickelfritz"? I just heard it in "Gilmore Girls" and it is without any doubt by german ancestry, but I don't know what this word means even though I'm German. In Germany we don't use this word (anymore?). I used google to find out more about this word and some people assumed it may be a misshearing of the word "schnuckelputz" which sounds very similar in German. "Schnuckiputz" is a term of endearment, mostley used for little kids and means sweetie.

Do you use the Word "Schnickelfritz"? What do you want to say if you use this word? I'm really interessed about the etymology of this word and hope somebody can help me. :)

The only other time I heard the word was in the film Stalag XVII. You may or may not be familiar with the film - about a Prisoner of War camp during WWII starring William Holden and directed by Otto Preminger. In any event, the prisoners trained mice to race on a little mini track in the bunk house. One of the mice was named Schnickelfritz - and one prisoner - who gambled a lot of cigarettes on the poor mouse could be heard saying c'mon schnikelfritz over and over.

It very well may have been a made up word - and the writer on the Gilmore Girls was paying a sly little tribute to that film.
That's all.
 

Mafalda

New Member
Thanks people! :)

It very well may have been a made up word - and the writer on the Gilmore Girls was paying a sly little tribute to that film.
That's all.

I don't think so. Gilmore Girls surly pays tribute to a lot of films, but the word "schnickelfritz" seems to be older. I asked a few people in Germany, and nobody knew something about this word. But I found more informations on the internet: http://www.pbs.org/speak/words/trackthatword/ttw/?i=1281 :).
 

bigredlancer

New Member
Schnickelfritz usage in Akron, Ohio in the 1950s

When my family was living in Akron, Ohio (we lived in the area known as South Akron, or "Goosetown", because of all the Germans who emigrated in the late 1880s), my mom and aunt, who were US-born, called all us kids "Schnickelfritz". This was in the 1950s. Our grandfather came over in 1888, worked for a company manufacturing reapers and later for Quaker Oats.
 

helgi

New Member
I'll throw in my five cents; I think a shnicklefritz is a kind of nickle...it seems kinda obviouse when you think about it........... Or,well, that's my five cents anyway.........
....
..eh?...........what's this?,...........,..... change? (indignation) huff, everyone's a cashier, I mean comedian
 

Flor

New Member
I heard it was a nickname for children. An old German man I used to work with many years ago tagged me with it one morning. I had never heard it. But because I'd shown up for work that morning with a bandaid on my face (covering a blemish), he said I was a putz and a snicklefritz. And the name stuck! It was awful. When my boss was angry he'd bellow from the corner office, "Snicklefritz, get in here!" Clerical work sucks.
 

Gilgamesh

New Member
I tried babelfish with the word, as one and two, but no luck.
Tried searching for anything of schnickle in amazon.de, nothing.

Reading the thread, seems like a made up word or mispronunciated or misspelled?

Then there's a possibility of being "schnitzel". (wiener schnitzel)
 

MIESS

New Member
Hallo Mafalda, I Am Of German Descent In North America. My Grandfather Always Called Me 'schnikelfritz" ( Komme Hier Schnikelfritz. Was Macht's Du Jetzt?). It Was A Term Of Endearment For Little Boys And Is Probably A Very Old Word. Meine Vorfahren Hat Auswandert Im 18 Jh . Aber Wir Haben Nie Unser Muttersprache Vergessen. Schnitzelbank Is A Wood Plane ( Messerplatz Oder Handmaschine Fuer Bauholzschnitzen). This Is Also An Old Word Of Schwabische Origin. Tchuss, Miess
 

drevil

New Member
My mother also called me schnickelfritz when I was a little girl. Her father's side of the family was German.
 

Libra

Active Member
schnickelfritz
Whoever first used it, the term schnickelfritz seems to have survived as an endearment, although it is probably fading from use.
It's a German term of endearment that means little rascal or chatterbox.


I also have heard it in this show my daughter watches "The comfy Couch"
I think the cat is called schnickelfritzs.
 

dfinagle

New Member
Schnickelfritz

When I was a kid in the 50s schnickelfritz was common in my neighborhood which wasn't particularly German though many had German roots as do I. It was sometimes rendered as schnigglefritz and sometimes amplified for a girl child into Gigglefritz to denote a girl prone to fits of the giggles. Both of these were always used as terms of endearment with a rolling of the eyes and a shake of the head.

This seems to follow a pattern in German that is demonstrated in the works of Wilhelm Busch, German cartoonist from the late 1800s, I think. He wound up famous in this country as being source material for the popular comic strip "The Captain and the Kids" or "The Katzenjammer Kids". He had illustrated rhymes about young scamps playing tricks on their elders I think you can find them collected in a Dover book called Max and Moritz. A lot of the titles follow that format another being Plink Und Plunk, etc. One title Struwwelpeter I seem to remember as Busch's but whick yields to search as being by Heinrich Hoffman shows the common joining of an adjective and a first name into a an epithet. There are others there.

In German communities in America though not I am told universally in Germany and Austria it is common practice to add a "sch" to a word to form a pejorative especially a word ridiculing its object. It may be that it is a particularly Yiddish practice as that is in many ways indifferentiable from its German counterpart. As an example, think of all the words that start off sch or sh that convey this feeling; Shnook, Schnozz, Schlemiel, Schlemazzle, etc. I can hear someone saying "Nazi, Schmazi, he was just a schmuck."

In German as in English "Old Nick" is the devil. Think Adam Sandler's Little Nick. In German and Yiddish diminutives can be formed with a terminal L as in Yenta and Yentl for busybody and little busybody. At its time of discovery the element nickel was just an impurity in an ore yeilding another desired metal. The smelters had to work like the dickens to get rid of it and they naturally called the stuff the Nickel denoting a little devil or imp. Cobalt also follows this same pattern as a Kobold is also an infernal deity. "Nickel, Schnickel, the young scamp." Our currency may have "In God We Trust" on it but the nickel in your pocket gets its name from someone else entirely.

There is currently a very nice selection of Busch work in both English and German on the web. Should be your first hit in google.
 

Isabell

Active Member
I googled and this came up....

schnickelfritz n Also s(ch)nicklefritz, snicke(l)tyfritz, snigglefritz [Perh < Ger dial Schnickel, Schniggel little boy ' s penis + the common name Fritz] Cf hanswurst A mischievous little boy; a scamp—usu used endearingly; by ext, a sweetheart.[1872 Galaxy 14.105, No name, unless matched by deeds, can be despotic in the arena of business. If there be force and courage behind it, Ichabod Snicklefritz—certainly not a title to melt the muses . . would be esteemed and honored of his kind.] 1905 DN 3.65 eNE, Snicklefritz, snigglefritz. . . About the same as skeezicks. 1916 DN 4.281 NE, Snicketyfritz, snickeltyfritz. = snigglefritz. . . [DN Ed: The latter also in Ill.] 1967 DARE (Qu. AA3, Nicknames or affectionate names for a sweetheart) Inf CA4, Schnickelfritz. 1973 DARE File swPA (as of 1920s), Snickle-fritz. . . Endearing epithet for a child. 1975 Studies in Honor of Kasten 30 swIL, Schnicklefritz, snicklefritz [< Schnickele + Fritz]: term of endearment to small male children ( " little guy " ). 1983 DARE File ceWI, Snicklefritz . . usually a little rascal. 2000 DARE File seWI (as of c1950), When we visited my Uncle Valentine on his farm, he often greeted my brother with, " Ah, there ' s the little Schnickelfritz! " This was said affectionately, but reflected also his opinion that my brother was something of a scamp who frequently " got into things " . Ibid ceWI (as of c1955), When I was growing up in Oshkosh, people used to call a little kid a schnickelfritz as an endearment. Ibid Detroit MI (as of c1950), My father ' s term for a small child was schnickelfritz; his parents were from the German community in St. Louis. 2000 DARE File—Internet MN [Winona Post], Rediscovering Schnickelfritz . . Schnickelfritz was the moniker adopted by Freddie Fisher, a musician originally from Iowa. . . [H]is band [was] a forerunner of the Spike Jones type of entertainers. . . Schnickelfritz . . signed a contract for a movie in the late 1930s.
Source: Dictionary of American Regional English, Harvard University Press
 
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