The Jewish Language Project is proud to announce that we are adding pronunciation recordings to all entries, based on the requests of many visitors. We invite you to support this important initiative by donating funds, volunteering to record entries, and sharing the crowdfunding campaign:
Help Newcomers Pronounce Jewish Words!
If we meet our fundraising goal by May 3, you can expect to see - and hear! - the pronunciations on this site by late June.


Alternative Spellings



  • rowdy non-Jewish hooligan (derogatory)

Example Sentences

  • "Friday night is yoks' night out"

Languages of Origin

Yiddish, English


Etymology unclear. Possibly from Yiddish יאָק '(dialectal) ninny, fool', more likely from Yiddish גוי "goy" said backwards (on Cockney slang-forming basis of "yob," a hooligan, from "boy") and with final devoicing. Another possibility is from the British city York, location of a massacre of Jews in 1190.

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements


Great Britain, South Africa




Diminutive forms also exist in British Jewish-English, namely "yeykl" (for a male) and "yeyklte" (for a female), which make use of Yiddish suffixes.

Edit     See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.