UK Dopers, are you familiar with the word "schlep"?

I’m browsing over at BBC News, and I clicked on this article, about the Great Schlep project, a somewhat wacky (imho) idea that young Jewish liberals should schlep themselves to Florida and convince their elderly grandparents to vote for Obama.

Anyway, I was amused to see that the article defines the word “schlep”. There are probably some US Dopers who grew up in Jew-free environments who didn’t/don’t know what the word means, but I suspect that for most of us, it’s one of several dozen Yiddish words that has been totally absorbed into American English. (Looking at Wikipedia’s list of Yiddish words in English, there are a few real surprises, like “glitch” and “maven”, but lots of other words I knew were of Yiddish origin I’d use without thinking like, “klutz” or “schmaltz”.)

Just curious.

I’m aware of the word, but I’d never use it myself, and I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing it in a British English context.

Not really your poll target, but I was born and raised in Michigan and never heard ‘‘schlep’’ used or knew its meaning until maybe last year, and that’s only because it came up in a linguistics class.

I’m familiar with it, but only from American television (the West Wing, I think). I don’t think i’d use it either.

I’m familiar with the word schlep and have been for a number of years, but then there’s been shows like “The Nanny” and other “Look at the funny jewish parents/people” type scenarios on TV for most of the time I’ve been growing up.

I’ve heard it, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it…

I’d worked out what it meant from context, but have never used it or heard it used outside an American TV show or film.

Familiar from it from US literature and (usually New York-based) TV shows like SATC. I may even have used it myself on occasion, because I love Yiddish words, and that particular one describes a lot in a single word that doesn’t have a direct translation into English, so is a fantastic one to use.

I’ve either heard it or read it and knew pretty much what it meant…

I use it sometimes and people seem to understand what I mean. I think most people would be familiar with it from US TV and film. It’s a slang word that you don’t see in writing much here, though, so maybe that’s why the BBC included the definition.

Australian. Know the word and use it. Surprised others don’t. (But then, I own a copy of the Joy of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten, so…)

Know it and have used it.

I use quite a few Yiddish words.

I was surprised many years ago that a very well-educated friend of mine native to California had never heard the word “kvetch.” As jjimm noted, an extraordinarily useful word that packs a bunch into one little syllable.

Although I suppose there’s more kvetching that needs describing in New York than in California.

Know it and use it. Non-Jewish Australian.

My sister and I use quite a few Yiddish words - just because we like 'em, and they are generally more exactly fitting the feeling. We always did, but now my sister has kids and the father is Jewish, so we do it a bit more (and I’ve learned lots of Yiddish-for-toddlers I didn’t know before (paternal grandmother is pretty traditional).

Thanks for your answers. I am really interested in language usage, it’s neat to see what’s universal and what isn’t.

FWIW, my dad is Jewish, so I’m not sure what I’m getting from him and what I’m getting from American culture at large. Of course, he doesn’t speak Yiddish - his parents used it as the secret language so they could talk in front of my dad and aunt.

English: I use schlep, but I would have said 'schlep off to Florida"

I used to live and work in florida. Worked for a Jewish guy from Staten Island, NYC. He was really funny and had lots of stories…

schlep was in his vocabulary and he defined it as meaning literally “to push”.
Although the context he used it in was different.

“I gotta schlep my ass down to Miami for a job at 11pm”, for example.

He had a lot of yiddish words that he’d use, and he’d teach me them coz he was forever trying to set me up with his daughter. Wierd. He even gave me a book on the history of the Jews.

I read a bit of it, but was more interested in the main reason I went to Florida (altitude and blue skies - and to those in the know about what that means, I salute ya !)

A lot of the words were quite racist. There was a word to refer to the African American - “schwatza” (I’m sure I’ve spelled that wrong! translates to black I believe)

A word for idiot - “Meshuggunah” (again sorry for spelling!)

one time in Miami, we walked past some lady and Louie said - look at the schnoz on that!

I replied - what’s a schnoz, as the lady walked past us.

Louie bent over in laughter! - It’s her nose! I hope she wasn’t Jewish he said, pissing himself!

Ultimately, I guess Louie was a bit racist and judgemental of folk, but then he grew up in a tough part of town, where everyone did the same. And how he and his brother escaped it is an equally fascinating story.

Anyways, here in Northern Ireland, and I’d lived in south east England for 4 years and Dublin too for a year, no one had ever mentioned the word schlep - or any other Yiddish words either!

“Schnoz” has always been a familiar slang term to me. I didn’t even realise that it is Yiddish, although I probably should have guessed.

Growing up in rural northwest Ohio, I didn’t personally know anybody who was Jewish. Yes, literally nobody. Despite that, I learned a lot of Yiddish words, although I didn’t use many of them myself. I mostly learned them from reading Mad.

I know it and have used it too, but wasn’t aware it was a yiddish word. Come to think of it I don’t remember where I first heard it. Normally I’d say something like “I was thinking of going to X but that’s a bit of a schlep”.