Tottenham fans' 'Yid' definition included in Oxford Dictionary

Ruben Hill
February 15, 2020

"As we mention at the very closely relevant word "Yid", Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is generally connected with the Jewish neighborhood in north and also eastern London, and also the term is in some cases made use of as a self-designation by some Tottenham fans".

"Tottenham Hotspur has criticised a "misleading" new definition of the term "yiddo" by the Oxford English Dictionary, which describes it as being" a supporter of or player for" the club.

The term to describe Jewish people can be considered offensive but some Spurs fans have historically adopted the word in terrace chants.

Spurs have a strong Jewish following and have been targeted with anti-Semitic abuse by opposing fans.

The OED, regarded as the leading dictionary of British English, has also added the word "yiddo" to its latest edition, saying its use is "usually derogatory and offensive" but can also mean a Tottenham supporter or player.

The publisher said the dictionary was a "historical dictionary" that "records the usage and development of words in the English language. These are always labelled as such", a spokesperson told the Independent.

The word has inoffensive origins within the Jewish community, but it took on a new meaning in the 1930s - especially in the United Kingdom - when it was used as a derogatory term for a Jew or a person of Jewish origin.

Some sections of Spurs fans have tried to reclaim the word in recent times, which is likely to be the reason for the OED adding the new definition, but many inside and outside of the club aren't happy with supporters using the word.

Spurs said in their statement that they "have never accommodated the use of the Y-word on any club channels or in club stores".

A debate has broken out following the Oxford English Dictionary's (OED) decision to expand its definition of the word "Yid".

In December, Tottenham launched the outcomes of a survey on "the Y-word" that obtained greater than 23,00 0 reactions.

Nearly half of all respondents said they would prefer to see supporters chant the Y-word less or stop using it altogether.

The term has proved divisive among fans with some believing it is fine to use it while others consider it racist and offensive.

A spokesman for the Antisemitism Policy Trust said: "This Y-word is now and has always been part of the vocabulary of hate used on the football terraces and elsewhere".

Comedian and also author David Baddiel, that made a 2010 movie with his sibling Ivor called "The Y-word" for the Kick It Out project, has actually disregarded the web link in between both areas as "generally mythological" and said Spurs fans " have no right of improvement".

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Community Security Trust, a charity working to protect British Jews from anti-Semitic attacks, said: "The OED have introduced several Jewish-related terms, so it is important that those which are anti-Semitic or otherwise offensive are clearly marked as such".

But Jewish groups have condemned the way it has been used, saying the word "must not be tolerated" by the club. "There is a recognition of the offence the Y-word can cause and that a footballing context alone does not justify its continued use", it said. The club could and should be doing more to prevent its use.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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