THE WORD “KIKE”

  Clearing the Air

Webster’s dictionary states that the word “kike” is a disparaging name that other people call Jews. In other words, it’s a name that non-Jews call Jews.

I asked my researcher for the derivative of the word. He said, “there is no derivative.” That’s strange. How can there not be a derivative? Every word is derived from something. Just like the word “nigger” is derived from Nigeria, now called Niger. I told him to look further. He looked the word up on the internet. Seems it all happened at Ellis Island, New York City.

Many Jews from many countries came to America, some escaping prosecution or persecution, some escaping poverty, others just wanting an adventure. Others wanted something different from what they had. Seems, however, that there was a competitive nature between German Jews and Russian Jews. The German Jews thought themselves superior to Russian Jews, because they were more learned, and as a result of that prejudice, the German Jews called the Russian Jews Kikes. At the time, most or many Russian Jews’ names ended in ki. So, the German Jews lobbed that disparaging word with prejudice toward people of a different ethnicity.

When the Jews were asked to sign their names upon entering Ellis Island, they couldn’t, because they were illiterate. They were told to mark an “X” as their signature and they refused. It seems it reminded them of a ‘cross’, as in Jesus, and they either feared the cross or were repulsed by it, so they signed with an “O”, a circle.

Kikel is a yiddish word for circle.

So, in the beginning the word ‘kike’ was not a disparaging word the non-Jews used against Jews. It was a word that Jews used disparagingly against other Jews–from other countries. It just so happened that when others heard it, they started to use it. But it began with the Jews. It’s their word–a word they chose to humiliate other Jews with, a way to put other Jews in their place. But like any word–nobody owns it. But also like any word, once out, many others used it.

Those who write the dictionaries left that portion out, preferring to blame, by omission, non-Jews for the existence of the disparaging word.

Clearing the air.

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