- a term used especially by a Jew to refer to a girl or woman who is not Jewish.
- a term used especially by a Jew to refer to a Jewish girl or woman whose attitudes, behavior, or appearance are felt to resemble those of a gentile.
- a term used by an observant Jew to refer to a Jewish woman who is not religious or is ignorant of Judaism.
This term is often used with disparaging intent, especially when a Jew is implying that the gentile woman is an outsider, not “one of our own.” On the other hand, use of the term in positive contexts such as blonde shiksa goddess can reflect a negative view of Jewish women as unattractive, even though these beautiful shiksas may be luring Jewish men away from their religion. To counter this view of the gentile woman as seductive temptress, shiksa is used by some non-Jewish women as a positive term of self-reference.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a non-Jewish girl
- a Jewish girl who fails to live up to traditional Jewish standards
Yiddish shikse, feminine of sheygets non-Jewish youth, from Hebrew sheqes defect
Word Origin and History for shikse
"gentile girl," in Jewish culture, dismissive or disparaging, 1892, from Yiddish shikse, from Hebrew siqsa, from sheqes "a detested thing" + fem. suffix -a.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper