goyish

Alternative Spellings

goyishe

Definitions

  • "in the manner or style of a non-Jewish person" (JPS), especially something WASPy or "white bread"

Example Sentences

  • "I can't believe she bought that tablecloth - it's so goyish!"
  • "All Drake's cakes are goyish. Pumpernickel is Jewish. White bread is very goyish. Instant potatoes - goyish. Black cherry soda is very Jewish. Macaroons are very Jewish - very Jewish cake. Fruit salad is Jewish. Lime jello is goyish. Lime soda is very goyish." (Lenny Bruce routine about which foods are Jewish and which are goyish, as quoted in an article in Moment magazine)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish

Etymology

Yiddish גוייִש goish 'gentile, non-Jewish'

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage
Ethnic: Jews whose Jewish identity is primarily ethnic

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).

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