Yid is a word used to refer to supporters of Tottenham Hotspur because many of their supporters are (believed to be) Jewish. The word has an entry in the OED and a variegated history. Yid war originally a Jiddish word used by Jews to refer to themselves. A neutral word. From the 1930s onwards, it began to gain negative connotations and was used by non-Jews to refer to Jews, in a derogatory way. This is, at least approximately, the way it is used by supporters of other football clubs to refer to the Spurs supporters (though one could argue that the racial undertones are not relevant here). It has become a nickname, as the OED calls it. And, as has happended to other words in recent decades, it has now been reclaimed by its former victims. In a response to the hostile word used by supporters of other clubs, Spurs supporters (some of them) have begun to use it themselves, thus allieviating the word of its charge. In a recent survey amongst Spurs supporters, 33% of respondent said they used the word regularly, though almost half of them said the word should be used less or not at all. Amongst Jewish Spurs supporters, 16% said the word should be used less, 26% said that it should be used not at all, but 58% said they did not object at all to the use of the word. The fact that the word was included in the OED spurred a lot of protest, a protest which is based on false assumptions about dictionaries (and probably language). The headline of the Guardian article says it all. (Murphy, Lynne: “The point of dictionaries is to describe how language is used, not to police it”. The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/17/dictionaries-language-tottenham-hotspur-oed-y-word-definition (accessed 24/04/2020)

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