verb (used with object)
Origin of Jew
Examples from the Web for jews
He is likewise a first-rate performer on that classical instrument the Jews'-harp.Portraits of Children of The Mobility|Percival Leigh
Then the old roundabout horse was turned, and conversation grew more difficult, because they again had to play on the Jews'-harp.From a Swedish Homestead|Selma Lagerlf
He would have looked the same had they played on jews'-harps and tin horns.Uncle William|Jennette Lee
Still, the world-regenerators may really be quite excellent performers on their own jews'-harps.Fantasia of the Unconscious|D. H. Lawrence
Carolinia promised not equal rights, but toleration to 'Jews, heathens and other dissenters,' to 'men of any religion.'The Real America in Romance, Volume 6;|John R. Musick
Word Origin for Jew
late 12c. (in plural, giwis), from Anglo-French iuw, Old French giu, from Latin Iudaeum (nominative Iudaeus), from Greek Ioudaios, from Aramaic jehudhai (Hebrew y'hudi) "Jew," from Y'hudah "Judah," literally "celebrated," name of Jacob's fourth son and of the tribe descended from him. Replaced Old English Iudeas "the Jews." Originally, "Hebrew of the kingdom of Judah."
Jews' harp "simple mouth harp" is from 1580s, earlier Jews' trump (1540s); the connection with Jewishness is obscure. Jew-baiting first recorded 1853, in reference to German Judenhetze. In uneducated times, inexplicable ancient artifacts were credited to Jews, based on the biblical chronology of history: e.g. Jews' money (1570s) "Roman coins found in England." In Greece, after Christianity had erased the memory of classical glory, ruins of pagan temples were called "Jews' castles," and in Cornwall, Jews' houses was the name for the remains of ancient tin-smelting works.
"to cheat, to drive a hard bargain," 1824, from Jew (n.) (cf. gyp, welsh, etc.). The campaign to eliminate it in early 20c. was so successful that people began to avoid the noun and adjective, too, and started using Hebrew instead.
Now I'll say 'a Jew' and just the word Jew sounds like a dirty word and people don't know whether to laugh or not. [Lenny Bruce (1925-1966)]
The Israelites, particularly after their return from captivity in Babylon (see also Babylon) about five hundred years before the birth of Jesus; at that time, the Israelites were established as a religious group, founded on the Mosaic law, not simply a national group.
Adherents of Judaism.