Monday, October 16, 2017

Shtick (n.) - My shtick is reading the dictionary.


Shtick
Noun

A unique style of act or performance, usually associated with a particular performer.

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History & Etymology

Shtick came into english from Yiddish, a language spoken by Ashkenazi Jews in Germany, and originated in the 9th century. Shtick was adopted from the Old High German stucki, which eventually became stock in modern english.

Shtick got it’s meaning from when you have a stock of some item you know you can always go to that stock and retrieve the same item over and over. When the word became applied to performance it literally meant you could return to a particular performer for a particular type of entertainment.

Prescription

My shtick is reading the dictionary on video. Admittedly it’s not a very good shtick, but I enjoy it. A shtick isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For years I had a negative association with the word shtick that generally indicated that the performer was lazy and couldn’t do anything original. Now I don’t think it’s really a bad thing to reuse the same theme or even the same content. It allows a performer to hone that act and become excellent at it.

Sources
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/shtick
http://www.etymonline.com/word/shtick
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiddish
http://www.etymonline.com/word/stock
http://www.oed.com

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