Jewish, adjective and & noun

jouj, jujShow more Also jouj, juj, zchoosch, zhoozsh, and with small initial.
Isicamtho, English, Show more From Isicamtho iJuwish ‘excellent’, ‘stylish’, also ‘fashionable clothing’, from English Jewish, with spelling remodelled to the English root.
Originally in township slang, but now more widely used. The term perhaps reflects a perception that Jewish people dress with style, or records the early predominance of Jews in the Johannesburg clothing trade. The variant spellings are attempts by English-speakers to reflect the pronunciation of the Isicamtho word.
A. adjective Excellent, ‘cool’; well-dressed, elegantly dressed. Hence (nonce) superlative form Jewishest.
[1962 W.S. Manqupu in Star 22 Feb. 14[In ‘isicamtho’] ‘beef’ means to get drunk; ‘guess’ is bad luck, ‘Jewish’ is excellent; ‘jumpers’ is late afternoon.]
a1968 D.C. Themba in E. Patel World of Can Themba (1985) 36The tsotsi turned round and looked out of the window on to the platform. He recognized some of his friends there and hailed them. ‘O, Zigzagsa, it’s how there?’ ‘It’s jewish!’
1985 H. Prendini in Style Oct. 41Blacks look at someone who’s well-dressed and announce admiringly ‘Mooi-Jewish!’
1989 M. Brand in Fair Lady 25 Oct. 92Zchoosch, elegantly cool.
1992 A. Jay on Radio 5, 19 Nov.If you wear this tie you’ll be the jujiest oke in Cape Town.
B. noun Expensive clothing; the latest fashions; style, chic.
1972 Drum 8 Apr. 19Maybe they were jealous of our expensive jewish. We pay for the clothes because we can afford them.
1973 P. Becker in The 1820 Vol.46 No.7, 33Billy is always unimpeachably attired in the very best ‘Jewish’, meaning top class suits from Johannesburg’s most thickly carpeted outfitting stores.
1981 New DawnDec. [Cover], The Latest ‘Jewish’.
[1982 C. Nxumalo Informant, JohannesburgThere’s even a participle for Jewish — ‘ujewishile’ all dressed up.]
1982 D. Bikitsha in Rand Daily Mail 14 Oct. (Eve) 5Money terms were coined by the dozen...Dress or fashion: lap, ndwango, Jewish, dlik, mestern etc.
[1990 M.J.H. Mfusi Soweto Zulu Slang. (Appendix A)Ijuwish (Jewish), expensive clothing.]
1992 B. Ronge in Sunday Times 10 May (Mag. Sect.) 8This was the jet-set and I definitely required a touch of what some hairdressers call ‘zhoozsh’. So I set out for Sandton City, the world’s largest supplier of ‘zhoozsh’ to the masses.
Excellent, ‘cool’; well-dressed, elegantly dressed.
Expensive clothing; the latest fashions; style, chic.
Hence Jewish transitive verb, to dress (someone or something) up.
1963 B. Modisane Blame Me on Hist. (1986) 50The boys were expensively dressed in a stunning ensemble of colour; ‘Jewished’ in their phraseology.
1992 Style Feb. 82A Queenspark bouclé jacket, R180, which was joujed up with beading by Dickie Longhurst and diamanté buttons from Liberty’s.
Entry Navigation

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary