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Offensive or not?

I've been thinking about this on and off for a while, and let me say up front this is in no way meant to be offensive to anyone.

I find it interesting that Jewish people are referred to as "Jews". I would think that would be an offensive word but I have herd people refer to them selves as Jews. I find it odd that the Jewish religion is the only one I can think of that is referred to like that. I mean you wouldn't call a Catholic a Cat, a Baptist a Bap or a Pagan a Pag right? So why is the term Jew accepted in this day and age?

Again its just a thought. I am Pagan and I don't know much about the Jewish faith I am just curious as to this. If you are Jewish does that term offend you?


Asked by Alie1313 at 11:32 PM on Jul. 5, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 1 (3 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • As far as I am aware, it's a matter of grammar, not a matter of offense.  Ἰουδαῖός ("ioudaios") in Greek and יהודים ("Yehudim") in Hebrew, in the Bible are translated as simply "Jew" as an appropriate nominative, singular, noun.  It's not a shortening of anything; it is a title the singular, nominative term for an individual who follows Judaism.  "Jewish" (Yehudi, in Hebrew) is simply the adjective form of the word.  It might sound awkward to some who are of religions or titles that serve both as an adjective AND a noun.

    I think today the word "Jew" has been given a negative connotation because it has become synonymous with being greedy.  However, the word itself does not have shameful origins.  We see it used as early as the book of Esther as describing someone of the tribe of Juda which was an extremely Holy and honorable name.

    Maybe someone on CM who is Jewish could clue

    Answer by NovemberLove at 12:34 AM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • The same way Christians adapted Christian, when it was first a derogatory term.. same as Pagan.. etc.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 11:36 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Actually, I think calling a Jewish person a Jew is still deragatory. The people that I know that are Jewish, call themselves Jewish not Jews. It may be just them, but I really don't know.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:40 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Christian use to mean "little Christian" which at the time was meant in a bad way.

    The term "pagan" is a Christian adaptation of the "gentile" of Judaism, and as such has an inherent Abrahamic bias, and pejorative connotations among Western monotheists,[4] comparable to heathen, and infidel also known as kafir (كافر) and mushrik in Islam.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 11:45 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • It all depends on the person. Jehovah's Witnessess are called "Jehovah's" and it doesn't seem to bother them.

    Answer by Tickledtrauma at 11:46 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • people adapt terms like this and use them in a better way, to help over come being viewed as a victim.

    People do the opposite as well.. take a positive word and turn it into something negative to make victims of others.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 11:46 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I have to agree with the first poster... The words Pagan and Christian were, and still can be used negatively. The word Jew, came out of the same thing. Also, I think it comes from the fact that the Jewish faith has been through alot. Being as old as it is the people have had to learn to addapt to the world around them. This is just one of those things. It was originally only used for non-Isrialites of the Jewish faith. Because they usually renounced their heratige as Cannonite or whatever, and became one of the Isrialites without the bloodline. So, culturally they became Jews...Today, now that we are all mixed... I think it can be used as a negative word, and have heard it as such, but it's not always. Many words, religious and not, have double meanings today.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:49 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • It's the same reason I call my son Ethan, "E", it's shorter and I'm lazy

    Answer by mumma28 at 11:50 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Just fyi, I was raised JW and I have never met anyone of that faith that was ok being called a "Jehovah". Jehovah is the name of the Judeo-Christian God so, to call one of Jehovah's followers a "Jehovah" is very offensive and disrespectful. We would always correct people when they called us that or anything like that. We would refer to ourselves as Jehovah's Witnesses or Witnesses for short. If a witness doesn't seem bothered they may not be comfortable correcting the person saying that but, out of respect I would never call them that and I would encourage others not to as well.


    Answer by BubbaLuva at 12:09 AM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • As for Jewish people I usually called them Jewish. It just never sounded right to call someone a Jew and I've had Jewish friends and I don't recall them calling themselves Jews so may I took a cue from that but, mostly, it never really sounded right to me.


    Answer by BubbaLuva at 12:13 AM on Jul. 6, 2009