The English language is full of words that are so easily confused. And, trust me, “schpiel” and “spiel” are no exception. They’re not identical in sound, but they’re similar enough that most people hold some confusion about which one is correct. The quick answer is that both are, but there are some essential rules you should know first.
Schpiel vs. Spiel: Their Meanings Explained
To put it simply, a “spiel” is a length or dragged-out speech. A salesperson pitching their products or services or a teacher giving a speech of some kind might be using a spiel. Basically, any longer-than-needed conversation happening on one side is a spiel.
Now, the word “schpiel” has the exact same definition, but most people don’t consider it an official word in the English language. It is probably because it’s a Yiddish word. That doesn’t make it any less of a word, though, just less common.
How Do You Spell Spiel?
The correct spelling of the English word is s-p-i-e-l, but if you want to spell it the Yiddish way, it’s s-c-h-p-i-e-l.
“Spiel” is meant to be pronounced as speel, with a long “ee” sound, so it’s like “eel” with an sp sound at the start.
Etymology of the Word Spiel
The word “spiel,” as we know it comes from the German word “spielen,” which means “play” or “game.” It was borrowed into English during the late 19th century and slowly evolved to take on its current meaning of an elaborate speech or sales pitch.
Speal or Spiel?
As I said earlier, “spiel” is the only correct spelling of the word used to describe a long rant or speech (unless you count the Yiddish term). So, words like “speal” or even “speel” are just another misspelling.
Synonyms for Spiel
- Sales talk
Spiel Examples in a Sentence
- I sighed as the salesman launched into his well-rehearsed spiel about the benefits of the new vacuum cleaner with his foot in my door.
- I used to hate asking my mother for anything because she’d always give me a super long spiel about it.
- Darcy quickly grew tired of listening to Dan’s long-winded marketing spiel about his latest business venture that was doomed to fail like all the rest.
- I asked my boss for time off, but I got the usual spiel about being short-staffed.
- The young politician’s campaign spiel focused on the importance of education and healthcare reform, so he’ll probably get a ton of votes.
- I loved all the panels I sat in on at the book convention, especially the well-prepared spiel from my favorite romance author about how to create compelling characters.
- We were impressed with the tour guide, who delivered an entertaining but lengthy spiel about the history of the city we were visiting.
That’s My Spiel
I hope you enjoyed my little schpiel about the word “spiel” and its origin. It’s pretty simple, really. The more widely used version of the word is “spiel,” while “schpiel” is accepted as a Yiddish term. And you can use either to describe a conversation or speech that’s a little too long than it needs to be.