shvartsa

Alternative Spellings

schwarze, shvartsa, shvartza, shvartze

Definitions

  • black person, [lit. "black"]. Often considered offensive in English.

Example Sentences

  • "She's dating a shvartse. Her grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave."

Languages of Origin

Yiddish

Etymology

שװאַרץ shvarts 'black', (שװאַרצער shvartser is masculine, singular, nominative; שװאַרצע shvartse is feminine singular or plural for all genders; Jewish English can use -e ending regardless of gender)

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).

Notes

Often considered offensive in English. Sometimes used by Haredim in Israel to refer to other Haredim (because of the men's black suits and black hats).

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