33 Comments

  1. Hmm, do these depend on NOT counting “schmear” as a variant form of “smear”? Oh, I recognize the specialized meaning, but don’t see that it invalidates the connection.

  2. “Schmear,” in New York, is very specifically the normal amount of cream cheese applied to a bagel. Saying “… of cream cheese” marks you as an outsider, just like waiting for a green light to cross Eighth Avenue.

  3. I have a sense of deja vu regarding “Schmear”. I think the vandalism one might be a repeat.

    While I’m at it, have you folks seen bagels spelled as “baigels” on signs. I remember at least one in the Boston area.

  4. Grawlix’s sense is absolutely correct: the “Rubes” panel first appeared here in November 2018, whereas the “Frank & Earnest” strip has a 2019 copyright, so the “few” days turns out to be 375 of them.

  5. P.S. I have seen the spelling “beigel” in (much) older transcriptions, but in “modern” German usage the word has been re-imported from American English (rather than from Yiddish), so the spelling uses a plain “a“, instead of an umlauted “ä“, which would have been a much better phonetic match to the correct pronunciation.

  6. And Bialy, which is not really the same thing. Though “a bialy, please” is an acceptable answer to “what kind of bagel would you like?”.

  7. So if “schmear” is just the normal amount of cream cheese, why is a special term needed for it? Why not just say “bagel with cream cheese “?

  8. That sounds reasonable larK. But I might argue that for Americans, two common words are preferred over one word with 3 consecutive consonant sounds.

  9. Ah; it’s only two — I debated spelling it shmear for clarity, but went with what the previous poster used, and because being German, I prefer the German orthography…

  10. Like larK said.

    Also, New Yorkers don’t say “pizza pie” or “slice of pizza”: it’s “pie” and “slice.”

  11. In Philly, snobbish cheesesteak places will as “With or without?” and sneer if you don’t know what they’re asking about.

  12. Are there places where people actually say “pizza pie” routinely? Nobody around here does, it’s just “pizza”.

  13. This is from the menu of the restaurant at which we ate last night . . . Gino’s NY Pizza . . . but no one actually SAYS it . . .

    Pizza by the Pie

    . . . as opposed to . . .

    Pizza by the Slice

    . . . which IS said, whilst ordering it.

  14. In a “Prairie Home Companion” story, the phrase “a slab of pie” was used to refer to a portion (presumably “apple” or “pumpkin”), but I don’t know if that’s generic Minnesota-ish, or just one of Keillor’s own linguistic quirks.

  15. Given the prevalence of Christmas-themed packaging in practically ever other category of grocery and household products, I’m actually surprised “Yule” Tide has not been made yet. Ditto “Christmas” Cheer detergent…

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