The word Yid (Yiddish: ייִד, pronounced: jid) is a slang Jewish ethnonym. Its usage may be controversial in modern English language. It is not usually considered offensive when ˈjiːd (rhyming with deed), the way Yiddish-speakers say it, though some may deem the word offensive regardless. When pronounced /ˈjɪd/ (rhyming with did), it can generally be perceived as a pejorative—and is used as a derogatory epithet by antisemites.[1] Although many Jewish people use the term amongst themselves and a Jewish dating website of the same name exists.[2]

Some supporters of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. adopted a nickname "Yid" (or "Yiddo") and often identify as "Yid Army". Used as a badge of pride by the Jewish communities based near to the North London football club, such usage is not without a controversy.


The term Yid has its origins in the Middle High German word Jüde (the contemporary German word is Jude).

Leo Rosten provides the following etymology:

From the German: Jude: 'Jew.' And 'Jude' is a truncated form of Yehuda, which was the name given to the Jewish Commonwealth in the period of the Second Temple. That name, in turn, was derived from the name of one of Jacob's sons, Yehuda (Judah, in English), whose descendants constituted one of the tribes of Israel and who settled in that portion of Canaan from Jerusalem south to Kadesh-Barnea (50 miles south of Beersheba) and from Jericho westwards to the Mediterranean.[3]


The earliest mention of the word Yid in print was in The Slang Dictionary published by John Camden Hotten in 1874. Hotten noted that "The Jews use these terms very frequently."[1]

After World War II, most examples of the word Yid are found in the writing of Jewish authors. These occurrences are usually either attempts to accurately portray antisemitic speech, or self-deprecating Jewish humor. In his 1968 bestseller The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten offers a number of anecdotes from the "Borscht Belt" to illustrate such usage.[1]

Usage in Yiddish

In Yiddish, the word "Yid" (ייד) is neutral or even complimentary, and in Ashkenazi Yiddish-speaking circles it is frequently used to mean simply "fellow," "chap," "buddy," "mate," etc., with no expressed emphasis on Jewishness (although this may be implied by the intra-Jewish context). The plural is יידן (pronounced: jidn).

In Yiddish, a polite way to address a fellow Jew whose name one does not know is Reb Yid, meaning "Sir." The Yiddish words yidish or yiddisher (from Middle High German jüdisch) is an adjective derived from the noun Yid, and thus means "Jewish."

Usage in European football

Both Jewish and non-Jewish fans of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. adopted "Yid" (or "Yiddo") as a nickname and "Yiddo, Yiddo!" as a battle cry and often identify themselves as "Yid Army". While such usage remains controversial, for the overwhelming majority of Tottenham supporters, it is used with pride[4]. Some Jewish Tottenham supporters use it with a political consciousness of the club as a bastion against racism and antisemitism. Others use it simply due to the fact that many of the fans and owners of the club are Jews. However, the name was first given to the supporters as an insult, due to the large Jewish following at the club which is based close to the Jewish communities of North London. The sometimes racist chant "Yiddo" is used to taunt the club when playing as well. Opposition supporters also use repetition of the sound 'sss' to mock the sound of leaking gas, referencing to the gassing of the Jews in the Holocaust. [1]


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

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.