Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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Secret Languages, Hebrew in: Egyptian Judeo-Arabic
(1,058 words)

In the Egyptian Jewish community, as in many Jewish communities, some elements of Hebrew vocabulary embedded within the Egyptian Arabic vernacular served as a secret language. Merchants often developed secret languages for their own particular professions, enabling them to speak about commercial as well as private matters in the presence of customers—including Jews who were not of the profession.

The word גּוֹי goy is used by Jews in both East and West to denote a non-Jew, a gentile. In Egypt and other areas in the East, Jews make a terminological distinctio…

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Rosenbaum, Gabriel M., “Secret Languages, Hebrew in: Egyptian Judeo-Arabic”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 19 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_00000710>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004176423

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