Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one nebbish or multiple nebbishes.)
A nebbish is a person who is so shy and timid that he/she seems dumb and useless.
"Nebbish" is also used as an adjective.
How to use it:
"Nebbish" is an informal, slangy word. It's usually a noun: talk about someone being a nebbish, especially a guy, if he seems totally helpless and weak.
Because we think of "-ish" as an adjective ending (as in "faddish" and "selfish") people often use "nebbish" as an adjective, too: "a nebbish coin collector."
Be aware that this word can be pretty insulting, so use a delicate tone if you mean to show pity or gentle criticism.
The audience members, bored and annoyed with comedians who bragged about their conquests and laughed loudly at their own jokes, instantly liked this next comedian's nebbish appearance and manners.
He plays a nebbish in many of his movies, but in interviews he's warm and charming, even saucy.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "nebbish” means when you can explain it without saying “wimp" or “shy."
Think of a someone you know who seemed painfully shy at first, and fill in the blanks: "(Person) seemed like a nebbish when (he/she) _____, but now that I know (him/her) better, _____"
Example: "The student seemed like a nebbish when he turned away from me and answered my questions with a barely audible 'I dunno,' but now that I know him better, he's animated and eager to share his ideas."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month's game content is protected by a copyright, so I can't reprint the trivia questions here--but check out the thoughtful and thorough reference book that I got them from: Last Words of Notable People!
A Point Well Made:
Anne Lamott: "I love ritual and repetition. Without them, I would be a balloon with a slow leak."
1. The opposite of NEBBISH is
2. The hiring committee read her nebbish resume and _____
A. chucked it straight into the garbage.
B. added her to a list of potential candidates.
C. offered her an interview with travel expenses covered.
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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