Shabbos goy

Alternative Spellings

Shabbes goy, Shabes goy, Shabbas goy


  • "A non-Jew who by prearrangement performs chores [that are forbidden] for a Jew on the Sabbath or holidays." (Steinmetz)

Example Sentences

  • "One of my favorite things about living with all those Jews was being the Shabbos goy."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish


Yiddish שבת־גױ shábes-goy

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
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]).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

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