:"For other meanings, see
Kike (disambiguation)."In modern English language, the word kike (IPA: /ˈkаɪk/) is a pejorative ethnic slurreferring to a Jew. In some languages, such as Spanish, this word (pronounced IPA|/ˈkike/) is a given nameor shortened from a longer form and is not considered derogatory.
etymologyof the term is uncertain. It may be an alteration of a common ending of the personal names of Eastern European Jews who emigrated to the United Statesin the early 20th century. The first recorded usage of the term is in 1904. [Oxford English Dictionary, "kike"] [http://kpearson.faculty.tcnj.edu/Dictionary/kike.htm Kim Pearson's "Rhetoric of Race"] by Eric Wolarsky. The College of New Jersey.]
In the eyes of many
European Jews, a cross was the sign of Christian persecution from which they sought the refuge in the New World. According to Rosten, Jewish Americanmerchants continued to sign with an 'O' instead of an 'X' for several decades, spreading the nickname "kike" wherever they went as a result. At that time "kike" was more of an affectionate term, used by Jews to describe other Jews, and only developed into an ethnic slur later on.
In his book "How the Irish Invented Slang: the Secret Language of the Crossroads,"
Daniel Cassidysuggests an alternative etymology. Cassidy notes that the Irish Languageword "Ciabhóg" (pronounced k'i'og) was the general term used by the Irish and Irish-Americans to denote the payotof Orthodox Jews. The Irish word "Ciabhóg" means "side-curl," which is what payot are.
Another possible etymology is that the term comes from the Greek word for circle, kyklos, and referenced the practice of
List of ethnic group names used as insults(distinct from the below)
List of ethnic slurs
Profanity— with a discussion of how words can differ in meaning and offensiveness depending on who is observing them.
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