The term "pappenheimer"?

Listening to a Maxwell Maltz tape it occurred to me that there is the term ‘pappenheimer’ in English as well as in German. Interestingly enough, the word also seems to have more or less the same meaning in both languages.

Do you know or use this expression and if so when?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening lectures: Why do Birds of Paradise have amazing plumages?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

I’m really only familiar with the short form of that word (pap) and am a bit mystified as to a connection with Maltz. :?


I had never heard or seen this word until you mentioned it. I could not find it in any normal-sized dictionary, and I had to go to the Random House unabridged to learn the meaning. This dictionary describes it as a “Walloon sword”.

I doubt more than 1 percent of the people here – even educated ones – would understand what you were talking about if you used that word.

The term also seems to be used to refer to iron-containing granules in blood cells.

The word weisenheimer, however, is VERY common.

I’ve never heard of pappenheimer, though I am a weisenheimer.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol: too!

I?m one of the pappenheimer who don?t really know what a weisenheimer is! :wink:


It’s another word for smart alec. From the Oxford American Dictionary:

noun informal
a person who behaves in an irritatingly smug or arrogant fashion, typically by making clever remarks and displaying their knowledge.
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from wise + the suffix -(n)heimer found in surnames such as Oppenheimer.

Note that I originally spelled the word wrong.

Now let’s see if some buttinski has more to say about wisenheimers.

Hi Jamie!

I?ve googled the word pappenheimer too and the common definition describes what you mentioned above. So, pappenheimer seem to make red blood cells dirty, don?t they?

Looking for Pappenheimer into my encyclopaedia I found out that Pappenheim had been a General during the Middle-Ages commanding a regiment of soldiers called the “Pappenheimer” and had been very successful. Unfortunately, in the encyclopaedia there isn?t any advice whether the German term " [color=red]I certainly do know my Pappenheimer" has to do with them but in my imagination always when they?d done something unexpected the King recognized the way of their doing and created that sentence.

I?m not really sure whether my imagination fits to the actuality, but even nowadays when you see the result of any doing without watching the doing, but by the way it was done you can recognize who did, you might say : " I certainly do know my Pappenheimer! "

Now I only hope not to be a wisenheimer! :lol:


P.S.: Does buttinski stem from but?


Hi Michael
You explained that well. :smiley:

I’m also looking forward to an explanation of buttinski from Jamie. Somehow I think it might refer to “but” with one more “T” added… :lol:



According to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘Pappenheimer body’ (alternatively ‘Pappenheimer’s body’) refers to a siderosome, especially one that stains with Romanowsky’s and Wright’s stain. Is the term ‘pappenheimer’ mentioned alone in other dictionaries? If you read this, Jamie, would you kindly let me know how many entries there are in the Random House unabridged dictionary?


Ms Google has now found information about “Pappenheimer rapier”: … l=1&tab=iw

Thank you for the new word.
As it sounds like Russian or Polish surname, I was interested to know its etymology. :slight_smile:

Now I’ve found that it’s from butt in, exactly, Amy.
But -ski seems to be rather strange suffix for ‘standard English’,doesn’t it?
Does the word come from American immigrants (from Europe)?

That’s right. A buttinski is someone who interrupts a lot. He always butts in. A lot of Polish names end with -inski, so I suppose that’s how the -ski got added. It’s quite an old word, and it’s even in the dictionary.

I don’t think this word was created by foreign immigrants, but probably by ordinary Americans. We use a lot of suffixes from other languages. We sometimes call a beer a brewski.

Another common foreign suffix we use is the Russian one -nik. It usually, but not always, indicates some far left wing fanatic, or some disreputable bohemian type. Most people know the word beatnik, but we also have no-goodnik, peacenik, animal-rights-nik, and various other types of -niks.

Hi Jamie (K),

Thank you for the explanation.

Sorry, I made a mistake when wrote ‘American immigrants’. I meant ‘immigrants to the USA’. You understand me rightly :slight_smile:

By the way, wisenheimer = умник (pronounced as um-nick) :slight_smile: :smiley:


We call them American immigrants. Often we call them immigrant Americans. Most people who come to the US want to be American, so we think of most of them as some kind of American, unless they never learn English at all or are some kind of Trotskyist agitator or something.

Very nice to know. What do you call the person who really does “umet”?

Thank you.

If I understand you properly - умелец (umelets)

(a master, highly skilled and qualified in doing something (usually by hand), craftsman)

P.S. Athough the first and the second words look similar, they have different roots.