Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quote of the Day III

Rather than being a cause for celebration, the election was a shemozzle marred by frequent irregularities and deadly violence.
          --Emily Paddon, "Beyond Elections in the Congo"

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines a shemozzle as a muddle, quarrel, mêlée.

The expression derives from the Yiddish word shlimazl, for an unlucky fellow. The online etymological dictionary provides a useful clarification: "A shlemiel is the fellow who climbs to the top of a ladder with a bucket of paint and then drops it. A shimazl is the fellow on whose head the bucket falls."

So if the Congo is the one on whom the bucket fell, who is the one who dropped it?

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