goy, a clarification

Fri, 21 Jan 1994 12:33:00 CST

David Heller gives us a rather recent usage of goy (as gentile). Goy denotes
'nation' or 'tribal group,' of which Israel was one, called the *goy godosh*
to distinguish itself as a tribe with a Covenant. The origin of the word, goy,
has been in dispute forever. The most interesting linguistic reconstruction
I've seen is one that sees goy as an inflected form of gabya, 'penis,' giving
an strong image of tribe as a proper translation of the term. I don't know
how or when the original denotata of the term were dropped, but I think it's
probably well to keep them in mind when throwing around ethnic differentiae.
I have the distinct impression, as a member of the tribe well versed in emic
forms of play, that D. Foss was yanking your chains a bit, as in "A rabbi?
You want to be a rabbi? What kind of job is that for a good Jewish boy?"
Lighten up, guys. If you get an invitation to play, then take it or pass on
it, but don't be offended at the invitation. There really are Jews in
Gainsville, huh? Goes to show you that there are still people in this country
who are willing to buy retail.
Mike Lieber