Report: ‘Misleading’ – Tottenham slam inclusion of Y-word in Oxford English Dictionary

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur have now issued a response to the Oxford English Dictionary adding the Y-word to their latest update, even referencing Spurs in the process.

The OED released their January 2020 update this week, including all the new words that had been added to the dictionary in the past month.

Among those was a very familiar and very controversial Y-word, often heard around the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The OED definition went as followsyiddo, n.: “A Jew. Also in extended use: a supporter of or player for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. See Yid n. 1, Yid n. 2.”

Tottenham, as a club, have attempted to distance themselves from the use of the word at matches of late, recently running a study to gauge fan opinion.

The Y-word may be used in a positive way by many Spurs fans, however, it remains a derogatory remark referring to members of the Jewish community.

Spurs have released a statement claiming that the Oxford English Dictionary definition is misleading as it gives no context while referencing Tottenham as a club.

The club said (quoted by Daily Mail): ‘As a club, we have never accommodated the use of the Y-word on any club channels or in club stores and have always been clear that our fans (both Jewish and gentile) have never used the term with any intent to cause offence.

‘We find the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word misleading given it fails to distinguish context, and welcome their clarification.’

The OED defended their actions with this statement (Independent): ‘We reflect, rather than dictate, how language is used which means we include words which may be considered sensitive and derogatory. These are always labelled as such.

‘The entry for ‘yiddo’ is labelled as offensive and derogatory and our reference to Tottenham Hotspur is a reflection of the evidence for the word.

‘As we state at the closely related word ‘yid’, Tottenham Hotspur football club is traditionally associated with the Jewish community in north and east London, and the term is sometimes used as a self-designation by some Tottenham fans.

‘We will ensure the context for this connection is very clear in both definitions.’

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