Once a new book comes out, the feedback follows. On pages 24-25 of Coop, I speculate about the term “schniblings” — a word we learned from a neighbor and used when we were children to describe the slabwood chunks Dad used for firewood. I said I wasn’t even sure how schniblings was spelled or if it was a bad word. So it was fun to hear from reader Rachel, who wrote:
…when I read about schniblings I ran to the Dictionary of American Regional English (I own only one volume, but it just happens to be P-Sk!). Schniblings itself isn’t in there, but “schnibble” is…meaning a scrap or small piece, and with the note “chiefly in German settlement areas.” I suppose a schnibling must be an extra small schnibble?
And reader Wayne adds:
My great-grandparents were all German, save one Frenchman, and my grandparents and mother, for that matter, called small paper debris – “schnippels”.
Finally, reader Karen says:
You mention “schnibble” in your book. My heritage is totally German. It sounded so Yiddish to me — nothing. Then I thought how much Yiddish is from the German so looked that up — voila!
schnibbeln — to whittle
…which explains why your neighbor would have called this little piece of wood schnibling!
Fun to learn things somewhere other than the Google.
Want to be the first to know when Mike has a new book, or is coming to your area? Please sign up for the email list.