jew down

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the noun Jew, based on the stereotype of Jews as ruthless about money and driving hard bargains + down.

Verb[edit]

jew down (third-person singular simple present jews down, present participle jewing down, simple past and past participle jewed down)

  1. (offensive) To bargain or haggle with a seller in order to obtain a lower price for a good or service.
    • 1861, George W. Henry, Tell Tale Rag, and Popular Sins of the Day, self-published (1861), page ix:
      [] the popular and fashionable lying, which is so prolific between merchant and customer, as the process of jewing down is going on among all traders of the day.
    • 1906, unnamed university president, quoted in John Maxson Stillman's "Relations of Salary to Title in American Universities", in Journal of Proceedings and Addresses of the Eighth Annual Conference of the Association of American Universities, Association of American Universities (1907), page 80:
      Equality, too, removes the possibility of bargaining, of jewing up or jewing down a salary, according to the exigencies of the moment.
    • 2005, Cedric Belfrage, Away from It All: An Escapologist's Notebook, Kessinger Publishing (2005), ISBN 1417985194, page 131:
      Millan had already been repeating his loud opinion of all Hindus, before the tailor he had so efficiently jewed down was half out of the room.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This term is considered offensive, as it is based on a stereotype considered offensive.
  • This term is used both intransitively and transitively. In transitive uses, the direct object may refer either to the seller, or to the kind of price (cost, fee, rent, etc., or more generally price). In all cases, the original price may be indicated in a from phrase, and the final price in a to phrase.

See also[edit]