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#1
Old 08-13-2005, 04:09 PM
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Ever heard the (possibly Yiddish) word 'gleep' as a pejorative for old man?

I am seeking an objective answer to my question, but I realize that this may drift into IMHO territory. It also has elements of CS. So mods, feel free to move as you see fit.

I heard this word used in two different episodes of The Twilight Zone (specifically, Nervous Man in a Four-Dollar Room, and A Kind of Stopwatch)

In the first instance, it's used to refer to the old man who gives the protagonist the magical stopwatch. The old man is slightly comically drunk, and has what sounds to me like a Yiddish accent.

In the second instance, it's used to refer to the owner of a bar whom the protagonist is supposed to bump off. We never see the owner, but merely hear him described as an old man who's resisting the local mob's protection racket. The mob boss (and later, the protagonist) refer to him disparingly as "some old gleep".

I had previously thought the pronunciation was 'gleeb', but after listening again more carefully, I am pretty sure it's 'gleep'.

Both episodes were written by Rod Serling (he wrote Nervous Man in a Four-Dollar Room, and the teleplay for A Kind of Stopwatch, which was based on a short story by Michael D. Rosenthal).

After googling and "dictionary.com'ing" all the different spellings I can think of, I was able to find some uses of 'gleep', which appear to be related to Yiddish conversations, but nothing definitive. (Also, that GLEEP is an acronym for Graphite Low-Energy Experimental Pile).

Info and thoughts appreciated.
#2
Old 08-14-2005, 08:57 AM
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Slim picking's here, but I remember my Dad using it to refer to someone with crossed or wandering eyes, as in, "you know, that guy with the gleepy eye." He might have also used it to refer to any sort of physical anomaly, but my memories a bit fuzzy.
#3
Old 08-14-2005, 09:10 AM
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Ran into this in The Princess Bride -
Inigo Montoya during his fight w/the Man In Black:
"If the enemy hasn't studied, he's a gleeper."

So it's definitely not a good thing. That's all I've got.
#4
Old 08-14-2005, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake4
Ran into this in The Princess Bride -
Inigo Montoya during his fight w/the Man In Black:
"If the enemy hasn't studied, he's a gleeper."

So it's definitely not a good thing. That's all I've got.
I think the line is "If the enemy hasn't studied his agrippa", meaning the agrippa defense (I don't know whether or not this is a real fencing thing, but it's real in the book).
#5
Old 08-14-2005, 11:30 AM
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bizzwire, did your Dad speak Yiddish?
#6
Old 08-14-2005, 12:02 PM
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Are you sure it wasn't gleek?

It's an old word meaning "annoying blue monkey".
#7
Old 08-14-2005, 12:06 PM
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The word gleep shows up in print in 1947. IT wasn't Yiddish. Just a young person/student's version of an "odd, obnoxious, or worthless person." Much like the word "drip" used to describe someone. Youth slang. Never really caught on big.

This from the Random House Historical Dic. of of American Slang, by Jon Lighter.

No definite origin.
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Old 08-14-2005, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasunejen
I think the line is "If the enemy hasn't studied his agrippa", meaning the agrippa defense (I don't know whether or not this is a real fencing thing, but it's real in the book).
Yes, that's the line. Followed by, "which I have".
#9
Old 08-14-2005, 01:18 PM
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Well, that explains why I never understood that line. And I've read the book enough times to figure it out, too. :wally
#10
Old 08-14-2005, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F. U. Shakespeare
bizzwire, did your Dad speak Yiddish?
Not that I'm aware of, although my grandparents (his parents) did. He knew all the nasty phrases though, so in a sense, you could say that he spoke it fluently.
#11
Old 08-15-2005, 12:06 AM
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It doesn't sound at all Yiddish. I would be very suprised if it turned out to be a Yiddish word.
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