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Would you say...

... "keep shtum" or "keep schtum" with the c?


  • Sorry, can't find it in my dictionary - try Google
  • As far as I can find out, either spelling seems to be acceptable, although like all these type of things, whichever one you use, someone is bound to say it's wrong. Personally I would go with the second spelling, with the 'c'.
  • Thanks. My instinct said use a "c". Google comes up with results for both, but if I type in "shtum" it says, "Did you mean schtum?" So Google seems to think it's with a "c", even though most the results show up without it. Aargh.
  • Yes indeed, that's exactly the result I got when I did the same.
  • OED: shtum, (also schtum), informal: non-communicative - 'he kept shtum about...'
    Verbs shtumms, shtumming, shtummed: be or become quiet and uncommunicative -' just when it's getting interesting you shtum up'.
    origin 1950s, Yiddish from German stumm

    I wouldn't have used the c - never seen it spelt with one.
  • Oops, sorry to disagree, Mrs B. I used this in my novel, and spelt it schtumm. But that's not to say it's right.
  • It's presumably one of those words where either version is applicable...
  • [quote=Tristram_Shandy] "keep schtum" [/quote]

    I think I use this one. I have no idea why. Going to check Dictionary of Slang now...

    *watches this space*

    Cannot find it in any of my reference books, but anyway, that's how I spell it.
  • Thanks, all. I guess it's one of those either way words.
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