• a nation, but not the Jewish nation
  • "most often used among Jews to refer to someone who is not a Jew" (JPS)

Example Sentences

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

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish, Modern Hebrew


גוי 'lit. nation; non-Jew'

Who Uses This

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


North America


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).


plural goyim (גויים). "Goy" is used to refer to a non-Jew (esp. male), but the word simply means "nation" in Biblical Hebrew and in the Bible is used to indicate the Israelite nation, as well.

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