• n. A non-Jewish nation.

  • n. A non-Jewish male (or sometimes female).

  • n. A dull, insensitive person.

Example Sentences

  • "People say I look like a goy because I'm blonde!"

    Listen to recordings of this sentence: ( Recording 1)

Languages of Origin

  • Modern Hebrew
  • Textual Hebrew
  • Yiddish


  • TH גוי, lit. 'nation' > Y גוי goy 'non-Jew'; the word simply means 'nation' in Biblical Hebrew and in the Bible it is also used to indicate the Israelite nation

    • Who Uses This

      • Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
      • Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).


  • See also gentile which does not have the sometimes negative connotation of goy.

    See also goyte, the feminine counterpart.

    Plural: 'goyim'.

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