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[kahyk] /kaɪk/
noun, Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of Jewish religion or descent.
Origin of kike
First recorded in 1900-05; of obscure origin; the popular belief that it derives from a Yiddish word for “circle” is dubious Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for kikes


(US & Canadian, slang) an offensive word for Jew
Word Origin
C20: probably variant of kiki, reduplication of -ki, common name-ending among Jews from Slavic countries
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for kikes



derogatory slang for "a Jew," by 1901, American English; early evidence supports the belief that it was used at first among German-American Jews in reference to newcomers from Eastern Europe, perhaps because the names of the latter ended in -ki or -ky.

There is no charity organization of any kind here [a small city in Pennsylvania] and, what is sadder to relate, the Jews in this city will not form one; that is, if the present temper of the people can be used as a criterion. The German Jews are bitterly opposed to the "Kikes," as they persist in calling the Russian Jews .... ["Report of the National Conference of Jewish Charities in the United States," Cleveland, 1912]
Philip Cowen, first editor of "The American Hebrew," suggests a source in Yiddish kikel "circle." According to him, Jewish immigrants, ignorant of writing with the Latin alphabet, signed their entry forms with a circle, eschewing the "X" as a sign of Christianity. On this theory, Ellis Island immigration inspectors began calling such people kikels, and the term shortened as it passed into general use.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for kikes



: kike neighborhood


  1. A Jew •Sometimes used by Jews of other Jews they regard with contempt; several early occurrences are found in a theatrical context (1904+)
  2. low or shady merchant or shop •The 1916 advertisement quoted here was placed by a Jewish merchant: Go into any little kike, little hole-inthe-wall (1916+)

[origin unknown and much speculated upon; the most plausible explanation, published by J H A Lacher, a former traveling salesman, is that the established German-American Jewish salesmen ridiculed their Eastern European colleagues in the 1890s with the name kiki because so many of their surnames ended in ''ki'' or ''ky,'' whence kike]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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