Kike

The word ” kike ” ( / k aɪ k / ) is an ethnic slur for a Jewish person .

Etymology

The earliest recorded uses of the word were in 1900 [1] and 1904. [2] [3]

The source of the term is uncertain, the goal Encyclopedia of Swearing Stated The Most reasonable and Most Likely origin of the term is the one Proposed by Leo Rosten , [4] selon Whom:

The word kike was born on Ellis Island when there were Jewish migrants who were also illiterate (or could not use Latin alphabet letters). When asked to sign the entry-forms with the customary “X”, the Jewish immigrants would refuse, because they associated with X with the cross of Christianity. Instead, they drew a circle of signature on the entry-forms. The Yiddish word for “circle” is kikel (pronounced KY- kul ), and for “little circle”, kikeleh (pronounced KY- kul-uh ). Before long the immigration inspectors have been arrested with an “O” in place of an “X” a kikel or kikeleh or kikee or, finally and succinctly, kike.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary , it may be an alteration of the endings – ki or – ky common in the personal names of Jews in Eastern Europe who immigrated to the United States in the early 20th century. [2]

A variation on the expansion of this theory published in Our Crowd , by Stephen Birmingham , postulates that the term “kike” was coined by the assimilation of US Jews from Germany to identify Eastern European and Russian Jews : “Because many Russian [ Jewish] names ended in ‘ki’, they were called ‘kikes’-a German Jewish contribution to the American vernacular.The name then proceeded to be co-opted by non-Jews as it was prominent in its use in society, and was later used as a general derogatory slur. ”

Compounding the mysterious origin of this term, in 1864 in the UK the word ike or ikey was used for derogatory term for Jews, which derived from the name “Isaac”, a common Jewish name. [4] [6]

Use

Some sources say that the first use was on Ellis Island as a Jewish people, [7] others that it was used primarily by Jewish-Americans to put down Jewish immigrants. [4]

In a travel report of 1937 for the German-Jewish publication Der Morgen , Joachim Prinz , writing of the situation of Jewish immigrants in the USA, mentions the word being used by Jews to refer to the other (Eastern) Jews:

Es ist nicht zu sehen erhebend, wie die verworren Vorstellungen sind, wie wenig die Einwanderer gelernt haben, wie sie glücklich sind teilweise, Judenschicksal entsprungen dem zu sein, und wie oft sie sind überheblich. Es macht traurig, daß sie in manchen Kreisen sehr unbeliebt sind, und man wundert sich über die Dummheit derer, die die Ostjuden (von denen sie ja jaßch gestützt werden!) Verächtlich “Kikes” nennen[…] [8]

It is not uplifting to see how the perceptions are confused, how little the immigrants-have Learned, how happy Reviews some of ’em are-have escaped to the life of a Jew [ Gold: The Jewish fate], and how haughty Many of’ em are. It is saddening that they are very unpopular in many circles, and bewildering is the stupidity of those who contemptuously call the Eastern Jews (who support them after all!) “Kikes” […]

See also

  • Kikeout Mountain
  • List of common nouns derived from ethnic group names
  • List of ethnic slurs
  • Profanity
  • Yid

References

  1. Jump up^ The Empire of the Ghetto, by Adolph Danziger, “Copyrighted by the Author, 1900″in Notes: A Monthly Literary Review and Review of New Books, Volume 6, No. 1 (1901), p. 213.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b “Welcome to the new OED Online Oxford English Dictionary” . Dictionary.oed.com . Retrieved 2012-05-24 .
  3. Jump up^ Kim Pearson’s Rhetoric of Race by Eric Wolarsky. The College of New Jersey.
  4. ^ Jump up to:c Encyclopedia of Swearing: Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English Speaking World / Geoffrey Hughes. Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, c2006.
  5. Jump up^ Leo Rosten:The Joys of Yiddish, quoted inKim Pearson’s Rhetoric of Race by Eric Wolarsky. The College of New Jersey.
  6. Jump up^ New Dictionary of American Slang / edited by Robert L. Chapman. New York: Harper & Crow. c1986.
  7. Jump up^ The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang / compiled by John Ayto, John Simpson. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, c2005.
  8. Jump up^ Joachim Prinz:”Amerika – hast Du es besser?”, Pg. 110

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