10
   

schlepp

 
 
Nodus1
 
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 10:40 am
Hi,
I am a short story writer (amateur), from Scotland. I'd like to use the verb 'schlepp' in a story. I want to describe someone moving in a slow and dissatisfied manner. This is the sentence I use it in: 'He schlepped down the steps of stone to the basement’s inky gloom, hearing Doreen shouting something indistinct.' I would be very grateful if someone could tell me if 1) I have the correct meaning for schlepp and 2) It works in the context of this sentence.
Thanks in advance for any assistance with this matter.
 
jespah
 
  6  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 10:44 am
@Nodus1,
You don't have the right definition.

Schlepp actually means to drag or wearily carry. You schlepp shopping bags, that sort of thing.

Google Translate claims that to plod in Yiddish is toptshen. I'm assuming you're essentially looking for a word like plod. Are you?
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 01:00 pm
@jespah,
I understood it also to mean "to drag yourself" as in "I have to schlepp up three flights of stairs to visit my brother ". Is that right ?
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 01:03 pm
@fresco,
Y'know, you're right. It can be reflexive like that. "We schlepped out to Brooklyn." I stand corrected. Thank you for the reminder.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 01:38 pm
@jespah,
The German verb schleppen, which is the origin of schlep means "to drag sth.", "to carry", "to pull", "to tow" ... and "to shlep" Wink
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 01:48 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
The recent embrace of schlep by The Times, Post and Journal shows that the dictionary’s incorporation of the word was a wise decision. The verb comes from the German sleppen, adopted with that meaning in the Yiddish schlepn or schlep, meaning “to drag, haul, lug.” “In Yiddish, the verb shlep is standard,” the lexicographer Sol Steinmetz, who spells the verb without the c, informs me, “with the literal meaning of ‘a pull, drag or jerk.’ Our slang meaning — ‘He’s such a shlep!’ — is an English innovation, either a figurative use of the Yiddish word or an adaption of the Yiddish shleper, meaning ‘a bum, tramp, beggar.’ The phrase ‘an ordinary shlep,’ as used in The Times, can be rendered in plain English as ‘an ordinary jerk,’ and the use of the slang phrase in the editorial seems to be an attempt to soften the serious message with a touch of New York humor.”
Source
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 02:00 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Another way Ive heard it used: I had to schlep all over looking for (take your pick), or Im tired of schleping you back and forth.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 02:36 pm
@Nodus1,
schlepping down the stairs doesn't feel right

you can definitely schlep up stairs ... you get the dragging feeling there

________

separately, it seems weird (to me) to use it in the same sentence with Doreen - which doesn't seem like a Yiddish kinda name


(all my Doreens are from the Caribbean)
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  5  
Reply Fri 22 May, 2015 10:22 pm
It's possible to schlepp down stairs, up stairs, or on level ground. Schlepping has more to do with the state of the schlepper than with what this person is walking on.

'He schlepped down the steps of stone to the basement’s inky gloom, hearing Doreen shouting something indistinct.'

I would change this sentence. Schlepp is an informal term. "Basement's inky gloom" sounds literary to me.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 May, 2015 07:35 am
@Nodus1,
on a slightly different direction, consider your audience. If it's for a Scottish audience, using Yiddish-ism's might leave them scratching their wee heads. As it so happens, I have a friend who is a Glaswegian and is Jewish and understands Yiddish; however, she's among a small minority, though.

Using a common Yiddish expression is cute and fun, but if your audience is non-Jews and also knows no Yiddish, you could be leaving them in the weeds.

As a writer, I've always been advised to write from what you know.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 May, 2015 10:58 am
@Nodus1,
I tend to think of "a schlepp" as a trek, an arduous trip, or a burdensome journey, and not something that is usually applied to simply going up or down a flight of stairs. Although, if tired, or in poor shape, one could certainly say, "I schlepped myself up the stairs," or, something like, "I had to schlepp four loads of laundry down to the basement," to emphasize the difficulty the task involved.
Quote:
I want to describe someone moving in a slow and dissatisfied manner. This is the sentence I use it in: 'He schlepped down the steps of stone to the basement’s inky gloom, hearing Doreen shouting something indistinct.'

I don't think it's really appropriate for you to use "schlepp" to describe someone simply walking down some steps in a slow and dissatisfied manner--that doesn't capture what schlepping connotes. Schlepp pertains to the inconvenience, or difficulty, of doing something, much more than it does to dissatisfaction, and it's really unrelated to speed.

If you said things like, "To get away from hearing Doreen's shouting, he had to schlepp down to the basement's inky gloom," or, "To shut Doreen up, he schlepped down to the basement to get her a hammer," I think you'd be closer to using the verb schlepp in a more accurate way that reflects its connotative meaning.

Anyway, that's my take on it.

0 Replies
 
Nodus1
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 May, 2015 10:27 am
Thanks to everyone for your informative comments and suggestions! On reflection, I think I will change 'schlepp' to another word, but now at least I have a clearer understanding of the word.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

There is a word for that! - Discussion by wandeljw
Best Euphemism for death and dying.... - Discussion by tsarstepan
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Question by lululucy
phrase/name of male seducer - Question by Zah03
Shameful sexist languge must be banned! - Question by neologist
Three Word Phrase I REALLY Hate to See - Discussion by hawkeye10
Is History an art or a science? - Question by Olivier5
"Rooms" in a cave - Question by shua
 
  1. Forums
  2. » schlepp
Copyright © 2017 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 11/23/2017 at 08:01:38