The word Goy.


Col. Ginsburg mentioned about finding trying to find a Goy. At first I thought he said boy but upon realizing the actor was using a "jewish" accent, I understood it to be Goy. I understand the word is used just like the "N" word is used in describing an "african-american"! Goy or Goyim refers to a person or persons who are not jewish. They probably put that in as an "inside joke"!

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Its really not like the "n" word but mote like a religious person calling someone a pagan.....not nice but not a slap in the face.....

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Actually you are both mistaken. It's a Yiddish word that means "gentile", i.e., non-Jew. It comes from Biblical Hebrew, where it means "nation", and is used in the Old Testament as part of the phrase meaning "nations of the world", i.e., gentile nations. It is also sometimes used in the O.T. to refer to the Jewish nation.

There are no judgement values connected with it whatsoever. You can't insult someone by calling him a 'goy'.

Of course, you can make anything insulting by context. "Italian" is not normally used as an insult, but if you say "The damned Italians ruined the neighborhood..." You get the idea.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is either just uninformed or has a hidden agenda.

(By the way, I work in film and television as a translator and coach of Yiddish.)

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The only word that we left out was "gentile". For the low information bloggers I used pagan... I dated a couple of Jewish girls at one time and the parents used the word guy in front of me....I took offense in the tone they used as if I was not good enough for their daughter.Any word if used in a detrimental way can hurt.

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That's my point: "Any word if used in a detrimental way can hurt." That doesn't make it an equivalent of "the 'n' word". A word can be used that way without having a negative connotation by itself.

That those girls' parents had that attitude I do not doubt for an instant. But that doesn't make it a "hate word". It isn't.

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rmcap, if those parents did indeed think you weren't good enough for their daughters, I'm sorry you experienced that.

But:

1. Many parents -- all faiths, all colors, all ethnicities -- think the men their daughters bring home aren't good enough for them.

2. Parents who belong to minority groups may be more sensitive to their daughters' dating people with different backgrounds because intermarriage tends to result in the gradual disappearance of cultural traditions -- and people from a group that was rounded up and exterminated *because* of those traditions tend to be a little more concerned than average about the loss of their traditions.

Just something to think about.

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bighebeal is right. It's just a noun, and -- unlike a known slur (such as "the n word") -- it's typically used neutrally. As bighebeal also said, any noun can be used in an ugly way if that's how the speaker intends it. For example, I bet that Amy's family (see poster above) had heard plenty of people use "Jew" in a derogatory and ugly way, and had also heard it used neutrally.

If you actually listened to the movie, you would have heard Powell's character say, in one of his sales talks, "When Columbus set forth on that memorable voyage, all the kibbitzers made fun of him!" Yiddish is sprinkled inoffensively throughout this movie -- the people who use it aren't mocking others, nor are the writers mocking the speakers by giving them those lines.

When in doubt, plese look something up. Please don't fan the flames of misunderstanding, which can lead to hostility -- and worse.

"All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people."

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I want to fan the flames! I don't need to look up words of which I know the meaning. If you don't like certain words then too bad. Just because a person can say a word with a smile on their face does not mean the word is a nice (PC) word.

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In other words, you have an agenda. You want to impute others as racist, despite the evidence ("I want to fan the flames... I don't need to look it up..."), for reasons of your own.

It may be a matter of what psychologists call "projecting".

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