Learn English – “Shnide”? “Schneid”? Which is it and what’s this term’s origin


"Getting off the shnide." (Obviously I'm not sure of the spelling.) It's an expression I hear almost exclusively in sports commentary to indicate a team has finally won a game after a protracted drought at the beginning of the season. (Example: "The Detroit Lions started the season oh-and-six, but finally got off the schneid by beating Green Bay.") It has been popularized by Chris Berman at ESPN. He didn't invent the term (I don't think) and he is primarily where I hear it from.

  • How do you spell it?
  • What is its origin? (I'm guessing Yiddish based on the "shn" combination, but I don't really know)

Best Answer

The Word Detective has this to say about it:

"Schneid" is actually short for "schneider," a term originally used in the card game of gin, meaning to prevent an opponent from scoring any points. "Schneider" entered the vocabulary of gin from German (probably via Yiddish), where it means "tailor." Apparently the original sense was that if you were "schneidered" in gin you were "cut" (as if by a tailor) from contention in the game.