Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 12:54:28 -0800
From: "A. Maberry" maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Subject: Re: ADS-L Digest - 27 Oct 1997 to 28 Oct 1997
On Wed, 29 Oct 1997, Larry Horn wrote:
One candidate for this status that I think doesn't really fit is the Yiddish
"yid", referring to a (Jewish) person. This word was around in Yiddish before
becoming a pejorative in German and English, I believe. Someone who knows the
history can correct me.
Turning to our trusty "Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten, whether the term
"yid" (m.sing.)is offensive or not depends upon its pronunciation. If it
is pronounced so as to rhyme with "deed", it is neutral; if it is
pronounced to rhyme "did" it is offensive, since that is the way it would
be pronounced by non-Jews. The f.sing. form "yidene" is always offensive.
"Yid" itself is cognate with the German "Jude" and means literally "a
Jew". So far Rosten, however it would be interesting, to me at least, how
current Yiddish speakers perceive the word.
maberry[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]u.washington.edu