schlock definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Something, such as merchandise or literature, that is inferior or shoddy.
Of inferior quality; cheap or shoddy.
Origin: Possibly from Yiddish shlak, apoplexy, stroke, wretch, evil, nuisance, from Middle High German slag, slak, stroke, from slahen, to strike, from Old High German slahan.
schlockˈy, shlockˈy adjective
Our Living Language A good number of English words borrowed from Yiddish (a variety of German with an admixture of Hebrew and Slavic elements) are recognizably of foreign extraction because they begin with sound combinations (shl-, shm-, shn-) not found at the beginnings of native English words. Schlock is such a word; it is descended from a Middle High German word for a hit or blow, and thus came to refer to damaged merchandise, and then to merchandise of poor quality. Other words beginning with this and similar sound combinations are Yiddish also: schlep, schlemiel, schmooze, schmuck, and schnoz. These words may not be equally common in all regions of the United States; they are most frequently heard in areas with sizable Jewish populations that either speak Yiddish or are descended from Yiddish speakers, such as New York City. Of course, not all Yiddish words borrowed into English begin with the sound (sh); one need only think of bagel, lox, blintz, nosh, meshugga, and kibbitz to get a feeling for the variety of words that Yiddish-speaking Jews brought with them to America.