The word Yid ( _yi. ייִד, pronounced|jid) is a slang Jewish ethnonym. Its usage may be controversial in modern English language. It is not offensive when pronEng|ˈjiːd (rhyming with "deed"), the way Yiddish-speakers say it. When pronounced IPA|/ˈjɪd/ (rhyming with "did"), it can generally be perceived as a pejorative—and is used as a derogatory epithet by antisemites. [http://kpearson.faculty.tcnj.edu/Dictionary/yid.htm Kim Pearson's "Rhetoric of Race"] by Eric Wolarsky. The College of New Jersey.]

Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. adopted a nickname "Yid" (or "Yiddo") and often identify as "Yid Army". Used as a badge of pride, such usage is not without a controversy


The term "Yid" has its origins in the Middle High German word " _de. Jüde" (the contemporary German word is " _de. Jude").

Leo Rosten provides the following etymology:

From the German: Jude: 'Jew.' And 'Jude' is a truncated form of Yehuda, which was the name given to the Jewish Commonwealth in the period of the Second Temple. That name, in turn, was derived from the name of one of Jacob's sons, Yehuda (Judah, in English), whose descendants constituted one of the tribes of Israel and who settled in that portion of Canaan from Jerusalem south to Kadesh-Barnea (50 miles south of Beersheba) and from Jericho westwards to the Mediterranean. [Leo Rosten: "The Joys of Yiddish", 1968. Cited in [http://kpearson.faculty.tcnj.edu/Dictionary/yid.htm Kim Pearson's "Rhetoric of Race"] by Eric Wolarsky. The College of New Jersey.]


The earliest mention of the word "Yid" in print was in "The Slang Dictionary" published by John Camden Hotten in 1874. Hotten noted that "The Jews use these terms very frequently."

After World War II, most examples of the word "Yid" are found in the writing of Jewish authors. These occurrences are usually either attempts to accurately portray antisemitic speech, or self-deprecating Jewish humor. In his 1968 bestseller "The Joys of Yiddish", Leo Rosten offers a number of anecdotes from the "Borscht Belt" to illustrate such usage.

Today, the word is often used by Jews in praise, to describe an upstanding religiously observant Jew (e.g., "He's such a "Yid", giving up his time like that") or to distinguish upstanding religiously observant Jews from non-observant.

Usage in Yiddish

In Yiddish, the word "Yid" |ייד is neutral or even complimentary, and in Ashkenazi Yiddish-speaking circles it is frequently used to mean simply "fellow," "chap," "buddy," "mate," etc., with no expressed emphasis on Jewishness (although this may be implied by the intra-Jewish context). Plural is _yi. יידן IPA| [jidn] .

In Yiddish, a polite way to address a fellow Jew whose name one does not know is "Reb Yid," meaning "Sir." The Yiddish words "yidish" or "yiddisher" (from Middle High German "jüdisch") is an adjective derived from the noun "Yid," and thus means "Jewish."

Usage in European football

Fans of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. adopted "Yid" (or "Yiddo") as a nickname and "Yiddo, Yiddo!" as a battle cry and often identify themselves as "Yid Army". While such usage remains controversial, for the overwhelming majority of Tottenham supporters, it is used with pride. Some Tottenham supporters use it with a political consciousness of the club as a bastion against racism and antisemitism. Others use it simply due to the fact that many of the fans and owners of the club are Jews. However, the name was first given to the supporters as an insult, due to the large Jewish following at the club. The racist chant "Yiddo" is used to taunt the club when playing as well.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yid — Yid, n. [See {Yiddish}.] A Jew; now (1998) usually considered offensive or contemptuous. [Slang or Colloq.] Almost any young Yid who goes out from among her people. John Corbin. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • yid — /yid/, n. Slang (disparaging and offensive). a Jew. [1885 90; < Yiddish yid JEW; cf. MHG jude, jüde] * * * …   Universalium

  • yid — (yid), n. usage: This term is a slur and should be avoided. It is used with disparaging intent and is perceived as highly insulting. However, the Yiddish word from which the English word derives is not derogatory. off sts sl.: extr. disp. and off …   From formal English to slang

  • yid — [yid] n. [< YIDDISH] JEW: a very offensive term of contempt …   English World dictionary

  • yid — [jıd] n taboo [Date: 1800 1900; : Yiddish; Origin: Middle High German Jude Jew ] a very offensive word for a Jewish person. Do not use this word …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • yid — [ jıd ] noun count OFFENSIVE an extremely offensive word for a Jewish person …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Yid — generally derogatory term for a Jew, 1874, from Yiddish use, where it is complimentary (see YIDDISH (Cf. Yiddish)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Yid — ► NOUN informal, offensive ▪ a Jew …   English terms dictionary

  • yid — bu·yid; say·yid; yid; yid·dish·ism; yid·dish·keit; yid·dish; yid·dish·ist; sa·yid; …   English syllables

  • yid — ISO 639 3 Code of Language ISO 639 2/B Code : yid ISO 639 2/T Code : yid ISO 639 1 Code : yi Scope : Macrolanguage Language Type : Living Language Name : Yiddish Individual languages : Identifier : ydd Name: Eastern Yiddish Individual languages …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

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