Unusual application of "kike"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 11 01:27:02 UTC 2012

On Dec 10, 2012, at 8:09 PM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

> I see a humorous article from 1906, on-line at the Fulton site --
> http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html
> -- showing the word "kike" applied to a miserly northerner in the south
> for the winter.
> ----------
> _The Morning Telegraph_ (New York NY), 21 January 1906: p. 4:
> <<[title] Doings at Dope Springs / by CHARLES DRYDEN / Sad Story Wherein
> the Life and Angling Habits of the Kike Are Exposed. / .... Such fellows
> are kikes, and I have long ached to turn the calcium on them. A kike is
> one degree below the piker in general picayune propositions, such as
> skinning a gnat for its hide and tallow. ....>>
> ----------
> It's a pretty long piece. The "kike" in this article is not assigned a
> religion or ethnic group. He typically has a beard and a celluloid
> collar. He typically is a merchant from a country town in the Midwest.
> He carries his own basic foodstuffs (hams, potatoes, beans, dried
> pumpkin, molasses, flour, butter, salt, pepper) for his southern stay to
> avoid grocery expenses.
> -- Doug Wilson
So "the Kike" is a cheap Midwesterner especially fond of ham (inter alia).  Not one's stereotypical picture of Jews, except perhaps for the cheap part (although that could apply to Scots as well), and the beard.   Verrrry interesting, as Arte Johnson would say.


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