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Shiksa (Yiddish: שיקסע shikse) is an often disparaging[1] term of Yiddish origin that has moved into English usage (as well as Polish and German), mostly in North American Jewish culture, as a term for a non-Jewish woman or girl.

Writer Menachem Kaiser argues in his essay "Anti-non-Semitism: An Investigation of the Shiksa" that "the pejorative connotation of 'shiksa' is fuzzy at best" because "'shiksa' today is used as often as not in winking self-reference".[2]

Among Orthodox Jews, the term may be used to describe a Jewish girl or woman who fails to follow Orthodox religious precepts.[1]

The equivalent term for a non-Jewish male, used less frequently, is shegetz.


The etymology of the word shiksa is partly derived from the Hebrew term שקץ shekets, meaning "abomination", "impure," or "object of loathing", depending on the translator.[3]

Several dictionaries define "shiksa" as a disparaging and offensive term applied to a non-Jewish girl or woman.[4][5]

In Polish, siksa (pronounced ) is a pejorative word for an immature young girl or teenage girl, as it is a conflation between the Yiddish term and usage of the Polish verb sikać ("to urinate"). It means "pisspants" and is roughly equivalent to the English terms "snot-nosed brat", "little squirt", or "kid".[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Shiksa | Definition of shiksa by Merriam-Webster". Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  2. ^ Kaiser, Menachem (March 6, 2013). "Anti-non-Semitism: An Investigation of the Shiksa".  
  3. ^ "soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Miscellaneous and References (11/12)Section - Question 19.6: What does "shiksa" and "shaygetz" mean? How offensive are they?". 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  4. ^ "definition of shiksa".  
  5. ^ Kaiser, Menachem (3 March 2013). "Anti-non-Semitism: An Investigation of the Shiksa".  
  6. ^ "Warsaw University Digital Library - Słownik języka polskiego. T. 6.: S-Ś". Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
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