- a term used by a Jew to refer to someone who is not Jewish.
- a term used by an observant Jew to refer to a Jew who is not religious or is ignorant of Judaism.
Origin of goy
1835–45; < Yiddish < Hebrew goi nation, non-Jew, Jew ignorant of the Jewish religion
Use of this term usually implies a contempt for non-Jews as being different from or even inferior to Jews: Only a goy would use such faulty logic. goy is rarely used in a neutral, descriptive way as a synonym for gentile , though that is its meaning in Yiddish and Hebrew. In another usually disparaging usage, goy is applied to a Jew who is not observant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for goi
Consistent with the Mitchell Report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements).The U.N. Settlement Report: Just The Facts
Emily L. Hauser
February 1, 2013
A day or two now, and one of us may goI care not which it be, for the other will not be long in tarrying.Within the Capes
Im glad you told me; I must goI must go back at once and see for myself.The Wayfarers
Mary Stewart Cutting
"I was goin't' ask you—her—what to do about—about something," she said, falteringly.Pray You, Sir, Whose Daughter?
Helen H. Gardener
Goi′tred, Goi′tered, affected with goitre; Goi′trous, pertaining to goitre.
I was goin't thru the woods one day, and come up sudden in a clear patch of ground.Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States
Work Projects Administration
- a Jewish word for a gentile
from Yiddish, from Hebrew goi people
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
Word Origin and History for goi
"gentile, non-Jew" (plural goyim), 1835, from Hebrew goy "people, nation;" in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew, also "gentile."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper