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Sun Oct 24 16:42:02 UTC 2010

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM wrote on Sat, 23 Oct 2010:
>Last night, the employer threw a "party" for the monthly birthdays and
>offered the employees a cake.
>One of the other employees commented to my ex, "I'm going to kype that
>cake from you."
>This made no sense. "Skype?"
>"No, kype. You know, like an insult to Jewish people."
>"Jip? Kiek?" "Yeah, it's like 'jip' and 'kiek'."
>Even replacing it with the only plausible "jew" still would make no
>sense: "I'm going to jew that cake from you."

And Eric Nielsen ericbarnak at GMAIL.COM replied on  Sat, 23 Oct 2010:
From:    Eric Nielsen Subject: Re: kype

>I've heard the word “kype” used as a synonym for “steal”. I think it was
>from my time in the northern Rockies. Many people in the backwater West say
>racial slurs more from ignorance than malice. Believe it or not, I have
>heard people there use the “n” word freely in the company of African
>Americans totally oblivious to the fact that they were being
>insulting--until I informed them. These were people who had lived very
>isolated lives. They had no clue that it was insulting. Of course, some knew
>better, but still had had little or no contact with a black or jewish
>person--and so, of course, still spoke from ignorance.”

I’d like to add that throughout my childhood in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1950s and ’60s, I believed the verbal phrase  “jew down” (to get a better price) was an ordinary usage with no connection to Jews. The phrase was used quite freely and to me it had no connotation of cheating or overreaching. To “jew someone down” was merely to get a good deal, strike an advantageous bargain. I grew up knowing many Jews (had my first date with one) but was utterly unaware of the anti-Semitic stereotype of Jews as penny-pinchers. To my embarrassment, I learned only in college that “jew down” was not coincidental but an ethnic slur.
Pat O’Conner

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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