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See also: gøy


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Alternative forms[edit]


From Yiddish גוי (goy, gentile), from Hebrew גּוֹי (goi, nation).

Compare Exodus 19:6: ממלכת קהנים וגוי קדוש (mamlekhet kohanim v'goy kadosh) "... a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (referring to the Jewish people). The word "goy" technically refers not to non-Jews, but rather to a nation per se; the Jews are said to constitute a "goy". But through common usage - namely referring to "the [other non-Jewish] nations" - the word came to colloquially refer to non-Jews.



goy (plural goyim or goys or goyem)

  1. A non-Jew, a Gentile.
    • 1988, Anthony Burgess, Any Old Iron:
      I don’t think that marriage is working, but I’m not going to be stupid about it and say she shouldn’t have married a goy.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This noun is sometimes taken to be offensive; speakers wishing to avoid offense may prefer the term gentile (sometimes capitalized as Gentile) or simply non-Jew.

Derived terms[edit]