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In an episode of the big bang theory, someone says "Take a jacket, it's shpritzing a little." Is shpritzing are real word? What does it mean?

Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=big-bang-theory&episode=s02e14

  • "bin bang theory" - also, beware of confusing British readers, because a 'bin bag' is a 'trash bag'. A black plastic bag for refuse. – Michael Harvey Nov 29 '19 at 23:40
  • Just out of curiosity, who said it? – the-baby-is-you Dec 9 '19 at 5:52
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This is a real word. It's generally spelled spritz, even though it is commonly pronounced shprits. What it means in this context is not raining but raining lightly, or in non-Yiddish-influenced English, drizzling.

The word spritz came from Yiddish or German; in German spritzen means to squirt. In Yiddish the corresponding word is shpritsn (שפּריצן). It was originally pronounced with an sh: shpritz, because that's the way it's pronounced in German and Yiddish. It still commonly is pronounced that way.

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I know this word as spritz (in terms of spelling), and /sprɪts/ (in terms of pronunciation). The dictionary gives both pronunciations (with and without sh):

spritz verb
\ˈsprits, ˈshprits\
spritzed; spritzing; spritzes
Definition of spritz

transitive verb
: spray

intransitive verb
: to disperse or apply a spray

(M-W)

spritz
/ sprɪts, ʃprɪts /
verb (used with object)
1 to spray briefly and quickly; squirt:
He spritzed a little soda in his drink.

(Dictionary.com)

I see original as somewhat unusual, but understandable. Given the context, I take it to mean that it's raining. Again, this is unusual to me, but possible, as a kind of improvisation, or "creative" utterance. Maybe it has greater currency among other speakers.

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    The word originally comes from Yiddish or German, so the original pronunciation was shpritz. And it doesn't quite mean raining; it means drizzling (raining lightly), – Peter Shor Nov 30 '19 at 11:34
  • @PeterShor please add your comment as an answer. It's what I would have written, as a guess. I think it's worthy of an official answer. – dwilli Dec 2 '19 at 4:07

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