Definitions

Shiksa

Shiksa

[shik-suh]

Shiksa (Yiddish: שיקסע) or shikse, is a Yiddish word that has moved into English usage, mostly in North American Jewish culture, that is used as a mock-pejorative term for a non-Jewish woman. Traditionally, the word shiksa is used to refer to a non-Jewish woman.

The word shiksa is derived from the Hebrew term sheketz, which means "abomination," "impure," or "object of loathing", depending on the translator.

Despite its etymology, the term shiksa is widely used and accepted in the United States, where it is often used in a humorous way.

Oddly, "siksa" (pronounced "shiksa") in Polish Gentile culture is a pejorative (but often teasing or affectionate) word for an immature young girl or teenager. It literally means "pisspants" and is roughly equivalent to the Engish terms "snot-nosed brat", "young squirt" or "young goat" ("kid"). (The masculine equivalent is "szczyl")

Although it has Hebrew origins, it was conflated with the Polish word "sikać" ("to urinate") and is therefore a false cognate that is actually equivalent to the Yiddish word "pisher".

In popular culture

Shiksas are a frequent subject in Jewish comedy, and the term makes occasional appearances in non-Jewish comedy as well. Comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce wrote a short story about shiksas, and Philip Roth's novel Portnoy's Complaint is about a Jewish man's sexual exploits and frustrations with shiksas as well as other women.

In "The Serenity Now" episode of Seinfeld a number of Jewish characters show attraction towards Elaine, a gentile. To explain this, George says that she has "shiksappeal" and explains that Jewish men like women who "don't remind them of their mothers". In an episode of the The Nanny, Fran Fine describes Maggie, the eldest girl in her care, as a "shiksa goddess" to a Jewish boy she wants Maggie to date. In a later episode, when Fran tries to fake a heart attack, Maggie explains that "Jewish guilt" doesn't work on shiksas.

Jason Robert Brown's musical The Last Five Years is about the relationship between a Jewish man and gentile woman, and features a song titled "Shiksa Goddess" that explores the main character Jamie's desire for a non-Jewish woman. Alt-rock group Say Anything's 2007 song "Shiksa (Girlfriend)" explores similar themes.

See also

References

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