Dutch teenagers are using “Jew” to mean “cool” or “awesome,” according to a linguist from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Professor Marc van Oostendorp wrote Jan. 14 on his blog that he heard the new usage of the word “jood” (pronounced yode) at a high school in Leiden shortly after learning about the phenomenon from an online forum.
“One is at first unsettled by it. The word Jew is still a slightly sensitive issue if used improperly,” van Oostendorp wrote, adding an example of how soccer fans use it as a pejorative.
Van Oostendorp noted that Dutch already has one positive exclamation connected to Judaism in “tof,” which was borrowed from Hebrew and means “good,” but he wrote that “it’s not clear if those two are connected. I don’t believe too many people are aware of the etymology.” — jta