Pronounced, always with disdain, shmeh-GEH-geh or shmeh-GEH-gee, to rhyme with "the mega" or "the Peggy." Ameridish slang. Origin: unknown; probably, a dazzling onomatopoetic child of the Lower East Side, or the Ukraine, some Jews say.
1. An unadmirable, petty person.
2. A maladroit, untalented type.
3. A sycophant, a shlepper, a whiner, a drip.
The word is popular in theatrical circles, conjuring up, by its very sound, vividly unlikable characteristics.
Miss Sophia Loren used the word with considerable brio in an interview with a New York Times reporter. The combination of great beauty, an Italian accent, an eloquent shrug, a tone of derisive dismissal, and a Yinglish word marked a high point in the life of this colorful epithet.