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Shiksa (Yiddish:שיקסע, Polish: Sziksa) or shikse, is a Yiddish and Polish word that has moved into English usage, mostly in North American Jewish culture, where it may be used as a pejorative term for a non-Jewish woman, but is now often used satirically. Among Orthodox Jews, the term may be used to describe young Jewish women who fail to follow orthodox religious precepts.


The word shiksa is etymologically partly derived from the Hebrew term sheketz, which means "abomination", "impure," or "object of loathing", depending on the translator.[1]

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

The word (written "siksa", pronounced "shiksa") in Polish Gentile culture is a popular pejorative (but often teasing or affectionate) word for an immature young girl or teenager. It means "pisspants" and is roughly equivalent to the English terms "snot-nosed brat", "young squirt", "young breasts" or "young goat" ("kid"). [2] It is a conflation between the Hebrew term and usage of the Polish word "sikać" ("to urinate").

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 Jewish 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" does not 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.

In the 1927 film The Jazz Singer, Jakie Rabinowitz's mother learns that he is interested in a woman named Mary Dale and says, "Maybe he's fallen in love with a shiksa."

See also


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Shiksa. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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