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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"gentile, non-Jew" (plural goyim), 1835, from Hebrew goy "people, nation;" in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew, also "gentile."


n. A non-Jew, a Gentile.

  1. n. in this sense `Gentile' denotes a Christian as contrasted with a Jew; `goy' is a derogatory word for Christians used by Jews [syn: Gentile, non-Jew]

  2. [also: goyim (pl)]


(, , regular plural , or ) is the standard Hebrew biblical term for a nation. The word nation has been the common translation of the Hebrew goy or ethnesin (ἔθνεσιν) in the Septuagint, from the earliest English language bibles such as the 1604 King James Version and the 1530 Tyndale Bible, following the Latin Vulgate which used both gentile (and cognates) and nationes/nationibus. The term nation did not have the same political connotations it entails today.

Long before Roman times it had also acquired the meaning of someone who is not Jewish. It is also used to refer to individuals from non-Jewish religious or ethnic groups; when used in this way in English, it occasionally has pejorative connotations. However, many people do not see the term goy as any more or less offensive than the term gentile. However, to avoid any perceived offensive connotations, writers may use the better-known English terms gentile or non-Jew.

Goy (film)

Goy is a 2011 thriller film by German directors Felix Kersting and Marc Schaumburg.

Goy (disambiguation)

Goy is the standard Hebrew biblical term for a nation.

Goy may also refer to:

  • Goy (surname)
  • Goy (film), a 2011 thriller film by German directors Felix Kersting and Marc Schaumburg
  • 't Goy, a village in the Netherlands
Goy (surname)

Goy is a surname. Notable people with the name include:

  • Peter Goy (born 1938), a former professional footballer
  • Philippe Goy (born 1941), a French science fiction writer
  • Luba Goy (born 1945), a Canadian actress and comedian
  • Sylvie Goy-Chavent (born 1963), a French politician and a member of the Senate of France

Usage examples of "goy".

Never, in all the years that he had dwelt in Chinatown, had Wing Goy been implicated in anything that savored of crime.

It was seldom that any of these articles - even the smallest - were sold, yet Wing Goy never worried.

When prospective purchasers entered - as they did but seldom - Wing Goy made no effort to induce them to buy.

On this particular night, while Wing Goy sat blinking just inside the door, a strange visitor came to the silent street outside the shop.

IT was then that Wing Goy paused to stare at the vague blotch that lay before the doorway.

With calm indifference, Wing Goy stepped into the street and peered toward the sidewalk on the other side.

When Wing Goy turned back to the doorway, he was too late to see the fleeting shape, but his almond eyes became suddenly fixed in gaze.

Unknown to Wing Goy, The Shadow, strange being of the night, had stepped from darkness into the gloom of the Tai Yuan Shop!

Wing Goy inferred that a shadow that moved must mean the presence of a human being.

Wing Goy pushed his way through scattered articles of furniture, and came to a thick portion of the wall that projected like an interior chimney.

Wing Goy satisfied himself that no one was in the artfully concealed hiding place.

Wing Goy had inadvertently disclosed the secret of this room, The Shadow was approaching.

But Wing Goy, still peering downward, saw a long, black silhouette creeping forward at his feet.

The Chinaman was a powerful brute - chosen as a guardian by Wing Goy because of his superhuman strength.

It means a groundhog, an earthcrawler, a dirt dweller, one who never goes into space, not of our tribe, not human, a goy, an auslander, a savage, beneath contempt.