N.Y. Observer: "shyster" is anti-Semitic slur

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Thu Apr 17 14:35:09 UTC 2003

--- Gerald Cohen <gcohen at UMR.EDU> wrote:
>    I see several people have already responded on
> "shyster." The
> phonetic similarity of "shyster" and "Shylock" is
> merely coincidence.
> And in spoken usage I do not see "shyster" as
> limited in any way to
> just Jewish lawyers. Dishonest
> lawyers/businessmen/etc. of *any*
> confession may appropriately be termed
> "shysters."
> Gerald Cohen

I have freely used 'shyster' to refer to lawyers
irrespective of race, color, creed , or sex.  Hard as
it might be for some to accept, there are vast regions
of this land where 'lawyer' does not automatically
associate with 'jew'.

Having said that, in Casper WY in the 70s, I
frequently walked by the office of a lawyer named
Shylock, and I thought he had a lot of guts to put
that name on the door.  (Shylock is one of numerous
possible variants -  such as Shryrock, Shyrock,
Shylok, Shylox, Shilok, Shillock, Schillach, etc. - on
family names.  When young, I confused Shylock and
Sherlock, thinking them to be the one and same famous

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
South SLC, UT                  |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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