Why is "Jew" not a slur?

Same with “Finn”.

Exactly the way I feel.

Generally, I find “Jew” inoffensive, depending on the context.

Ramira, just to make sure I have this straight, Islam is the name of the religion and Muslim is the name for the people who follow Islam?

The “slur” aspect dates to a time when any non-Jew saying that a person was “a Jew” would almost certainly be derogatory. You didn’t say “he’s a Jew” to me nice. You said it to explain that he was a person “not like us”.

Now, however, in many parts of the world non-Jews aren’t automatically anti-semitic. So it depends on who says it and what that person means. If, for example, my mother pointed out that someone was “a Jew” she was not using the term neutrally. It was meant as a slur.

Wasn’t “Jew” originally short for “Judean?”

It’s probably meant to be offensive when someone says “Hey, Jew!”.

On the other hand, “Heb” is not derogatory at all.

Yes. It first appears in II Kings 16:6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.

In the King James Version “Jews” appears 244 times. “Jew” appears 32 times. That is why “Jew” is not a slur.

No. Judea was the romanised version Judah, the name of the Jewish kingdom which (long) preceded the Roman province. And the Kingdom took its name from the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes into which Israel was divided. The tribe in turn was supposedly named after Judah, one of the twelve sons of the patriarch Joseph.

King David is said to have been of the tribe of Judah, and when the Davidic kingom split the southern part, centred on Jerusalem, became known as the Kingdom of Judah, pointing to the dominance of that tribe. Furthermore, the Kingdom of Judah survived a great deal longer than the other Jewish state, the Kingdom of Israel, which lay to the north and was conquered by the Assyrians, and its population scattered and/or absorbed. Once Judah became the sole Jewish polity, the dominance of the tribe of Judah was intensified still further, and the name of the tribe eventually came to be used for the whole nation.

Close. Judah and Joseph were brothers (or half-brothers). They were both sons of the patriarch Jacob, a.k.a. Israel.

D’oh! :smack:

Well, calling someone a vegetable seems a little harsh.

What would be the alternative? “Jewish person?” People would quickly become weary of the three extra syllables.

I thought it was “Hebe” rather than “Heb”.

Somehow this reminds me of a Beatles song…
My sincere apologies if * that * offends anyone.

SOMETIMES, “Jew” can be used as a slur, and it’s easy enough to tell (from context and tone of voice) when that is the case.

But “Jew” is not a word that Gentiles made up, nor is it a word that Jews themselves have been asking us not to use. If Jews were in the habit of saying “Jew is an offensive term- we prefer to be called Such-and-Such,” then I’d be a jerk to keep using the word Jew.

But that’s not the case. Jon Stewart or Michael Bloomberg Allen would tell you forthrightly “I’m a Jew.” So, how could it be offensive for ME to say, “Jon Stewart is a Jew”?

That’s how I’ve always understood it (not a Muslim though), and “islamic” is the term to describe non-person things like institutions.

So you’d have Islam, Muslims and Islamic law, and that would be the proper usage.

Quick question- is the term Moslem just another way to transcribe the same word as Muslim from the Arabic original, or is it actually something different?

I believe Christian was originally a derogatory term, used first at Antioch, and was then adopted widely as a mere descriptive.

I think this would be problematic, since it implies not only Jewishness but residence in the modern state of Israel.

Not that I expect usage to make sense - it just reflects what people say, not what they should say if usage made sense.


Dumb follow up: what is the Hebrew word for Jew? Or, put differently, what do Jews call themselves in their own tongue?

I think the Hebrew word is “Yehudi”.

I saw a stand-up routine once, where the guy (it may have been Billy Crystal) was saying ‘Jew’ sounds like a bad word. He scrunched up his face and pronounced it disparagingly. 'Jew! :mad: ’ IIRC, he compared it to how names for other peoples sounded much better. I wish I could find a clip of it to show you.