If you’re a sports fan, you may have heard the expression “get off the schneid” used by players or sports commentators. But what, precisely, does this expression mean? Moreover, where does it come from?
If these are the questions haunting your days, read one! We’re here to provide the answers.
Get Off the Schneid – Meaning
The phrase “get off the schneid” is a sports term that means to start winning again after a long losing streak. “Schneid” started as a term used in the card game “gin rummy.” In that context, it meant that a player had failed to score a point.
- The term “get off the schneid” is a sports expression in the United States and Canada that means “overcoming a losing streak.”
- “Schneid” has an additional meaning in the world of card games and means “a loss with no points scored” in gin rummy.
- “Schneid” is short for the German word “schneider,” meaning “tailor,” which is used idiomatically in the game of skat to mean a player was “cut.”
According to the Wiktionary, the word “schneid” has two definitions. Firstly, it has a US and Canadian slang definition meaning “losing streak.”
Secondly, it has a definition that comes from the popular card game, gin rummy. In this context, it means “a loss with no points scored.”
Therefore, in US and Canadian sports, a player will be “on the schneid” when they are in the midst of a losing streak. In turn, they will be “off the schneid” when they break this losing streak with a win.
Get Off the Schneid – Origin
The word “schneid” is short for the German word, “schneider.” However, most sources suggest that this word was adopted into German from Yiddish.
Before it was shortened in the card game gin rummy, the term “schneider” was used in Germany’s national card game, skat, to mean “having scored 30 or fewer points.”
This may be surprising because “schneider” translates directly to “tailor.”
Therefore, the use of “schneider” in skat was probably idiomatic. Because, in these games, to be “schneidered” was to be “cut,” as if by the fabric sheers of a tailor.
Thereafter, the term “schneid” was adopted into sports jargon around the 1960s to mean a losing streak.
Get Off the Schneid – Synonyms
Considering the meaning of the phrase “get off the schneid,” some potential synonyms for this phrase would be as follows:
- Break a losing streak
- Come out of a slump
- Turn things around
- Snap a losing streak
- Make a comeback
In What Situations Can You Use “Get Off the Schneid”?
You can lose the phrase “get off the schneid” to refer to a situation where a sports team has finally had a victory after a string of losses.
For instance, consider the example sentences below:
- They have some strong players, but they’ll need to get off the schneid if they want to make it to nationals.
- I strongly believe that, with this game, we’ll finally get off the schneid.
Incorrect Ways to Use “Get Off the Schneid”
There is some uncertainty regarding how the word “schneid” should be spelled. Namely, some people mistakenly apply a more phonetic spelling and write the word out as “schnide.”
However, “schneid” is short for the German word “schneider,” meaning “tailor.” Therefore, this is the only correct spelling of this word for the purposes of this phrase.
- Correct: Getting off the schneid.
- Incorrect: Get off the schnide.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.