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[shee-nee] /ˈʃi ni/
adjective, sheenier, sheeniest.
shining; lustrous.
Origin of sheeny1
First recorded in 1615-25; sheen + -y1


or sheeney, sheenie

[shee-nee] /ˈʃi ni/
noun, plural sheenies. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
a contemptuous term used to refer to a Jew.
First recorded in 1810-20; origin obscure Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sheeny
Historical Examples
  • So I parted with my last quarter and was sent to a sheeny store in Broadway.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • And I made Thompson agree to settle your doctor's bill and expenses with that sheeny.

    The Wreck of the Titan Morgan Robertson
  • If you have worked your way through the South at all, maybe you've heard of sheeny John.

    A Woman at Bay Nicholas Carter
  • With that out came her hatpin, and she made a lunge at sheeny Rose.

  • “The sheeny was no good,” was all the character he gave him.


    Jacob A. Riis
  • Then the sheeny track of light in the water, dancing and rippling.

    Complete Prose Works Walt Whitman
  • sheeny kept her bed this morning, overcome by the tumults of the preceding evening, and Shaan officiated in her place.

  • Between two smirking waxen women in sheeny drapery he saw that which brought him to a pause and set him gazing.

    To Him That Hath Leroy Scott
  • Over the rosy skirts of Eos hung a full and heavy robe of swelling grey and black clouds, edged with a fringe of sheeny gold.

    Serapis, Complete Georg Ebers
  • Again there was a wait before the boy came back, and again a wait in a sheeny chair before Mr. Baxter looked up.

    The Walking Delegate Leroy Scott
British Dictionary definitions for sheeny


noun (pl) sheenies
(slang) a derogatory word for a Jew
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
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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Slang definitions & phrases for sheeny



: one of those Sheeny employment bureaus


  1. A Jew
  2. A pawnbroker, tailor, junkman, or member of another traditionally Jewish occupation

[1816+; origin unknown; perhaps fr non-Jewish hearing of Yiddish miesse meshina, a curse; perhaps fr Yiddish shayn or sheen, ''beautiful,'' because this is the way a merchant would praise his wares]

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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