Why everything in the world can be divided into 'Jewish or Goyish'

Life can be complicated. We divide up the world into the only two categories that really matter


Let me explain “Jewish or goyish” to you.

Those words were the opening to Lenny Bruce’s famous comedy skit in 1961. The maestro comedian (you might have met him in The Marvellous Mrs Maisel) decided to divide American life into the only two categories that mattered: Jewish or Goyish.

So pumpernickel bread was Jewish, whereas white bread was goyish. Fruit salad was Jewish, but lime jelly was goyish. You get the idea.

We all do this sometimes, as Jews, because something doesn’t have to be Jewish to feel Jewish.

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, is a nice Jewish boy. Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition, seems perfectly nice too but is as Jewish as a tractor.

Similarly, something can be Jewish and not actually feel it. Think of a preppy Ralph Lauren shop. Ultimately, it’s about the vibe.

To that end, I felt it was about time we had a proper taxonomy of modern Britain according to the Jewish vs Goyish divide.

You may disagree with some of them, because arguing is of course very Jewish, but you will also be wrong, because thinking you’re right is also very Jewish. And I’m right.

Anyway, here we go …

King Charles is Jewish.
Queen Camilla, Goyish

Jeremy Hunt is Jewish.
Liz Truss is very Goyish

The Times is Jewish.
The Daily Mail, Goyish.

The Daily Telegraph is Goyish, of course;
The Guardian, antisemitic (joking)

I hope you’re with me so far…

Waitrose is Jewish, of course. So is Marks and Spencer. Tesco is Goyish

The Economist is Jewish.
The Spectator is Goyish.
The New Statesman, Masorti

Taylor Swift is Goyish (all those London boys she’s dated, none of them kosher).
Adele is Goyish.
Ed Sheeran is, of course, Goyish.
Harry Styles is Jewish

Diet Coke is obviously Jewish.
Full-fat Coke is Goyish, and so is Coke Zero.
Pepsi very Goyish

Brexit is Goyish.
Easter is Goyish.
Christmas is Jewish.
Halloween is very Goyish

The M1 is Jewish, So is the M6.
The M4, Goyish

EasyJet is Jewish.
Ryanair, CRAZY Goyish

Heathrow airport is Jewish, lovely shops.
Luton, Jewish.
Gatwick is Goyish.
Stansted, Yockish

Victoria Beckham is Jewish, but David Beckham is Goyish.
Brooklyn Beckham, however, is Jewish
Interest rates are Jewish.
Inflation is Goyish

The Atlantic Ocean is Jewish.
The Pacific is Goyish.
The North Sea is SUPER Goyish

Mercedes cars are Jewish,
So are BMWs.
Jaguars are Goyish.
Volvos are Lubavitch

David Miliband is Jewish.
Ed Miliband, however, SADLY Goyish

Granulated sugar is Jewish
Sugar cubes are Goyish

Question marks are Jewish, of course.
Exclamation marks, Jewish!
Full stops, Goyish.
Round brackets are Jewish.
Square brackets are obviously Goyish

Brighton is Goyish.
Bournemouth is Jewish.
Oxford University is Jewish.
Cambridge is Goyish

Ladders are Goyish.
Step ladders are Jewish

Ritz Crackers are seriously Jewish, pretty much Charedi.
TUC crackers are Goyish.
Duchy Originals are POSH Jewish

Bacon is Goyish.
Normal sandwich ham is Goyish.
Parma Ham is Jewish
Zoom is Jewish.
Microsoft Teams, Goyish

Chocolate covered fruit is very Jewish.
Cashew nuts are basically rabbis.
Walnuts are Goyish, though.
Almonds are also Goyish

Vaping is Goyish

Fountain pens are Goyish. Ballpoint pens, Jewish

The Northern Line is Jewish.
The Central Line, Goyish. |
The Bus, crazy goyish

Dogs are Goyish.
Cats are Goyish.
I can’t actually think of any Jewish animals, possibly the donkey

Pret a Manger is Jewish,
So is Starbucks.
Costa Coffee is Goyish,
As is Caffè Nero

Golf is Jewish, obviously.
Cricket is frum.
Football is Jewish.
Wild swimming is Goyish
Rock climbing, lol

And so there you have it. This is not a comprehensive list of course, though I did my best and as mentioned these are all unequivocally correct opinions.

But what can we learn about British Jews today from this exercise? What threads and themes run through this list?

Well, we are mostly bourgeois and like nice things. We are city rather than country folk. We are British, of course, but with a more cosmopolitan tinge; proper John Bull Englishness isn’t quite our thing.

We tend to prefer new-fangled to old-fashioned. We still don’t like DIY, of course. We buy German cars, despite it all.

But beyond all of this, there’s something more intangible about the list. Every Jew I ran this past grasped the idea instantly because some things just feel Jewish and some don’t.

There’s an ineffable Jewish sensibility there, the accretion of millennia of history and culture and experience into a finely honed instinct. Jewish or Goyish? You just know.

What did I miss? What did I get wrong? Email me at

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