AskDefine | Define shiksa

Dictionary Definition

shiksa n : a derogatory term used by Jews to refer to non-Jewish women [syn: shikse]

User Contributed Dictionary



Yiddish שיקסע (shíkseh).

Alternative spellings


  1. non-Jewish girl
  2. maiden

Extensive Definition

Shiksa (Yiddish: ) or shikse, is a Yiddish word that has moved into English usage, mostly in North American Jewish culture, that is used as a mock-pejorative term for a non-Jewish woman. Traditionally, the word shiksa is used to refer to a non-Jewish woman.
The word shiksa is derived from the Hebrew term sheketz, which means "abomination," "impure," or "object of loathing", depending on the translator.
Despite its etymology, the term shiksa is widely used and accepted in the United States, where it is often used in a humorous way.

In popular culture

  • In The Jazz Singer, Jakie's mother says, "Maybe he's fallen in love with a shiksa."
  • Comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce wrote a short story on the subject of shiksas.
  • The term figures prominently in Philip Roth's novel Portnoy's Complaint, a Jewish man's narrative about, among other things, his sexual exploits with several "shiksas".
  • In Murphy Brown, at the end of "Political Correctness", Miles says to Murphy, "Yeah, like I'm gonna take comedy tips from a shiksa".
  • In an episode of Married… with Children, Kelly Bundy goes to Hollywood as a prospect for a television role. She enters a studio's offices where she reviews a series of promotional posters for upcoming television shows, one of which is Me and the Shiksa.
  • In "The Serenity Now" episode of Seinfeld a number of Jewish characters show attraction towards Elaine. To explain this, George says that she has "shiksappeal" and that Jewish men like women who "don't remind them of their mothers".
  • In an episode of the The Nanny, Fran Fine describes Maggie, the eldest girl in her care, as a "shiksa goddess" to a Jewish boy she wants Maggie to date. In a later episode, when Fran tries to fake a heart attack, Maggie explains that "Jewish guilt" doesn't work on shiksas.
  • In Sophie's Choice by William Styron the word "shiksa" appears several times. E.G.: "I fall crazy in love with a Polish shiksa and she keeps her sweat treasure all locked up ...."

See also


shiksa in German: Schickse
shiksa in French: Shiksa
shiksa in Polish: Sziksa
shiksa in Russian: Шикса
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