The eructations of the smart ass
are aptly blunt and crude;
The mordant wit of the malapert
is thick with attitude.
The taunting of the cutup
might be lacking charm and grace,
But the wisenheimer's banter
puts a smile upon my face.
She knows her proper grammar,
likes to point out when it's wrong,
she can perfectly apply
ironic lyrics from a song.
But the wisenheimer's repartee,
is not simply apropos--
reveals affection down below.
With a clearly German suffix
(as if a family name),
it's somehow much less formal
than "wiseacre" (which means the same).
Though "wiseass" seems so similar
the connotation implies spite,
but the comebacks of the wisenheimer
spring forth from sheer delight.
The word connotes a playfulness,
of bon mots made with glee--
though that's my interpretation,
there are those who disagree.
Though usage in America
dates back to 1904,
by some accounts this admirable word
may not be around much more.
Though I've seen it used in the Chatterbox,
the New York Times, and across the Web
The word is falling out of favor,
its use is on the ebb.
And in the twilight of this word,
bound for the lexicographer's shelf,
the only one who uses the word
is the wisenheimer himself
Hugh Gilmore, Ken Greenwald, Phil White. Online postings, "wisenheimer / weisenheimer." Wordwizard. August 21-23, 2008. <http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3962> (accessed April 6, 2010)
H.L. Mencken. The American Language. 1921. <http://www.bartleby.com/185/pages/page199.html> (accessed April 6, 2010)