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For the traditional Hindu science of the phonetics and phonology of Sanskrit, see Shiksha. For the Indian educational organization, see Shiksha (NGO). For the 1970 film, see Shiksha (film).

Shiksa (Yiddish: שיקסע shikse) is an often disparaging[1] term of Yiddish origin that has moved into English usage (as well as Polish), mostly in North American Jewish culture, as a term for a non-Jewish woman. Shiksa refers to any non-Jewish woman or girl.

Professor Frederic Cople Jaher writes:

The shiksa obsesses many Jews: Rabbis see her as an intermarital threat to the survival of Judaism; parents fear that she will lure their sons away from family and faith; and Jewish men fantasize about her sexual and social desirability. She figures prominently—even compulsively—in popular movies and bestsellers by Jewish directors and writers.[2]

Among Orthodox Jews, the term may be used to describe a Jewish girl or woman who fails to follow Orthodox religious precepts.[1]

The equivalent term for a non-Jewish male, used less frequently, is shegetz.


The etymology of the word shiksa is partly derived from the Hebrew term שקץ shekets, meaning "abomination", "impure," or "object of loathing", depending on the translator.[3]

Several dictionaries define "shiksa" as a disparaging and offensive term applied to a non-Jewish girl or woman.[4][5]

In Polish, siksa (pronounced [ʂɨksa]) is a pejorative word for an immature young girl or teenage girl, as it is a conflation between the Yiddish term and usage of the Polish verb sikać ("to urinate"). It means "pisspants" and is roughly equivalent to the English terms "snot-nosed brat", "little squirt", or "kid".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Shiksa—Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". 
  2. ^ Jaher, Frederic Cople (Winter 1983). "The quest for the ultimate shiksa". American Quarterly 35 (5). 
  3. ^ Question 19.6: What does "shiksa" and "shaygetz" mean? How offensive are they?
  4. ^ "definition of shiksa". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  5. ^ Kaiser, Menachem (3 March 2013). "Anti-non-Semitism: An Investigation of the Shiksa". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  6. ^ Słownik języka polskiego - str.112 (przeglądanie dokumentu wymaga instalacji przeglądarki DjVu)