I get several words a day in my email, and this is one I couldn’t pass up. Schlep is such a colorful word, and so useful. How many times per day do you do what this word describes, or talk about what this word describes? I guess that’s why it’s still around.

When we bought the desk I’m currently sitting at as I write this, we were living in Milwaukee on Brown Deer Road across the street from a big synagogue. This synagogue had a huge annual garage sale — we’re talking cars, furniture, all the way down to the usual things like kids’ toys and clothes. You walk in there, it looks like a huge furniture store and not a house of worship. (At least in the entryway.) My wife found the desk, because I’d been wanting a bigger desk to work at (I have lots of books that need to be piled up), and a Jewish man in a Wisconsin Badgers yarmulke offered, “Do you have someone to help you, or do you want me to schlep it to your car?” It was authentic…good times. So now you know the story of my Jewish desk. Make sure you use the word schlep today!

Word of the Day for Friday, August 27, 2010

schlep \SHLEP\, verb:

1. To move slowly, awkwardly, or tediously.
2. To carry; lug.

“She’s definitely worth the wait, the schlep uptown, and I happen to approve of her politics.”
— Wendy Wasserstein, Elements of Style

They are smelly, stubborn and slow. Yet they’re still the favoured traditional and novelty mode of transportation on the Greek island of Santorini. They are the famous donkeys that schlep people and cargo from the Old Port to the island’s capital of Fira.
— Steve MacNaull, “Island Hopping,” Calgary Herald, July, 2010.

Schlep is a Yiddish word with a basis in the German schleifen, “to trudge.”