Part of speech: noun
Origin: American English, 1980s
A person who is able to change their appearance, behavior, or attitudes, so as to be comfortable in any situation.
Examples of Zelig in a sentence
"Despite belonging to the PR Team, Harold was a Zelig who easily blended into any department."
"Rather than joining a clique in school, Cathy was a Zelig who made friends in different interest groups."
Popularity Over Time
This word originated in American English in the 1980s based off of a Woody Allen character Leonard Zelig, the titular character in the movie “Zelig” (1983). Eponyms are not always proper nouns, but “Zelig” is usually seen capitalized.
Did you Know?
A Zelig is a person who is able to change their appearance, behavior, or attitudes to be comfortable in any situation. Similarly, a chameleon is a reptile who is able to change its physical appearance, but not to simply camouflage itself against a background as cartoons might make one believe. Instead, chameleons often change colors to regulate temperature, indicate changes in mood, and communicate with other chameleons.