How ethnic labels change, and often revert, with the times
A small New Hampshire town’s debate over the local place name “Jew Pond” is yet another chapter in how ethnic language continues to evolve in the great American melting pot.
The use of the term Jew as an adjective is generally considered derogatory - the Nazis notoriously spray-painted “Jude” on Jewish-owned businesses, for example - while the term “Jewish” is not.
But that wasn’t always the case. After the Civil War, Jewish immigrants to the United States believed that the word “Jewish” itself carried negative connotations and the community began naming its organizations with the words “Hebrew” or “Israelite.”