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Not to be confused with Shiksha.

Shiksa (Yiddish: שיקסע shikse) is an often disparaging[1] term of Yiddish origin that has moved into English usage (as well as Polish and German), mostly in North American Jewish culture, as a term for a non-Jewish woman or girl.

As contempt

Writer Menachem Kaiser argues in his essay "Anti-non-Semitism: An Investigation of the Shiksa" that "the pejorative connotation of 'shiksa' is fuzzy at best" because "'shiksa' today is used as often as not in winking self-reference".[2]

Among Orthodox Jews, the term may be used to describe a Jewish girl or woman who fails to follow Orthodox religious precepts.[1]

The equivalent term for a non-Jewish male, used less frequently, is shegetz.[3]


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.[2][4]

In Polish, siksa or sziksa (pronounced [ɕiksa]) is a pejorative but humorous word for an immature young girl or teenage girl. According to Polish language dictionary from 1915, it has been defined as "pisspants"; a conflation between the Yiddish term and its similarity to the Polish verb sikać ("to piss"). In today's language however, it is roughly equivalent to the English terms "snot-nosed brat", "little squirt", and "naughty school-girl" in a humorous context.[5][6]

See also