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kike

[kahyk]
noun Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a person of Jewish religion or descent.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kike

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In his mind he was saying: "A kike and a frog, that's a good combination."

    Three Soldiers

    John Dos Passos

  • “No; only a kike lawyer is required now,” he said to himself, as he crossed the street and entered Central Park.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • I always thought that Kike's squeal on his boss was about the lowest-down play that ever happened.

  • He knows nothing of our common terms of disparagement, such as kike, wop, yap and rube.

    The American Language

    Henry L. Mencken


British Dictionary definitions for kike

kike

noun
  1. US and Canadian slang an offensive word for Jew
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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

Word Origin and History for kike

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper