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). For the 1970 film, see Shiksha (film).

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]

Derivation

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

References