Put-downs starting with S
For those moments in life when you just need a put-down that starts with the letter S:
Schlemiel — a fool or bumbler — arrived in English in the 1860s from a Yiddish word which probably came from the name of a general involved in ill-fated battles & at least one ill-fated extramarital affair.
Scofflaw — one who habitually ignores the law — arrived in English in 1923, as the winner of a contest posed by Delcevare King, who asked people to coin a word to define those who ignored the 18th amendment by drinking or making illegal alcohol.
Scoundrel — an unprincipled knave or rogue - showed up in English in the 1580s. Though its origin hasn’t been pinned down, it may have come from a French word meaning to hide oneself.
Shark — a predatory person or swindler — Appearing in English in the 1560s, shark may have come from a Mayan word meaning shark, however, many etymologists insist shark was initially applied as an insult to humans, probably from a German word meaning rascal. When it came time to put a name to a toothy, predatory fish, the word shark seemed to fit.
Skinflint — a stingy, miserly person — showing up in English in the 1700s, skinflint defines an individual who is such a cheapskate, s/he would try to scrape skin off a piece of rock (flint) for profit.
Slob — an untidy, loutish individual — slob appeared in English in the 1780s from a Scandinavian source, meaning mud & mire, & by the 1860s, it gained its modern meaning.
Sluggard — a lazy person or idler — coming to English around the 1400s, probably from a Norwegian word meaning slow, it originally applied to slow-moving people, boats, & animals.
Stooge — an incompetent underling — arriving in English in 1913 meaning a stage assistant or straight man (& butt of a comedian’s jokes), stooge grew to mean incompetent underling by the 1930s. It may have come from the word student, as students sometimes assisted actors on stage.
So which S word would you love to put to use? Which one would you likely avoid using?