Shiksa

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For the traditional Hindu science of the phonetics and phonology of Sanskrit, see Shiksha. For the Indian educational organization, see Shiksha (NGO).

Shiksa (Yiddish: שיקסע shikse) is a sometimes derogatory[clarification needed]"often" not always/necessarily disparaging term of Yiddish origin that has moved into English usage (as well as Polish), mostly in North American Jewish culture, as a term for a non-Jewish woman. Shiksa refers to any non-Jewish (gentile) woman or girl who might be a temptation to Jewish men or boys, e.g., for dating, intermarriage, etc.

Professor Frederic Cople Jaher writes:

The shiksa obsesses many Jews: Rabbis see her as an intermarital threat to the survival of Judaism; parents fear that she will lure their sons away from family and faith; and Jewish men fantasize about her sexual and social desirability. She figures prominently—even compulsively—in popular movies and bestsellers by Jewish directors and writers.[1]

Among Orthodox Jews, the term may be used to describe a Jewish girl or woman who fails to follow Orthodox religious precepts.[2]

The equivalent term for a non-Jewish male, used less frequently, is shegetz.

Derivation[edit]

The etymology of the word shiksa is partly derived from the Hebrew term שקץ shekets, meaning "abomination", "impure," or "object of loathing", depending on the translator.[3]

Several dictionaries define "shiksa" as a disparaging and offensive term applied to a non-Jewish girl or woman.[4][5]

In Polish, siksa (pronounced [ʂɨksa]) is a pejorative word for an immature young girl or teenage girl, as it is a conflation between the Yiddish term and usage of the Polish verb sikać ("to urinate"). It means "pisspants" and is roughly equivalent to the English terms "snot-nosed brat", "little squirt", or "kid".[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jaher, Frederic Cople (winter, 1983). "The quest for the ultimate shiksa". American Quarterly 35 (5). 
  2. ^ "shiksa—definition and more from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". 
  3. ^ Question 19.6: What does "shiksa" and "shaygetz" mean? How offensive are they?
  4. ^ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shiksa
  5. ^ Salon: "Is “shiksa” an insult? - The Yiddish word has become a part of the English lexicon, but its connotation remains fluid" By Menachem Kaiser March 6, 2013
  6. ^ [1] Słownik języka polskiego - str.112 (przeglądanie dokumentu wymaga instalacji przeglądarki DjVu)