Google in its dictionary function this week briefly displayed the word “Jew” in connection with an old anti-Semitic trope about Jewish people.
Fox News reported on Tuesday that the Google Dictionary feature until early Tuesday afternoon “described the word ‘Jew’ as to ‘bargain with someone in a miserly or petty way’.”
The dictionary that definition’s origin “in reference to old stereotypes associating Jewish people with trading and moneylending.”
The tech company told Fox News that it “licenses definitions from third-party dictionary experts” and that it normally “only display offensive definitions by default if they are the main meaning of a term.”
“As this is not the case here, we have blocked this & passed along feedback to the partner for further review,” the company said.
“Jew” as a verb has offensive connotations that go back man years.
Pop superstar Michael Jackson famously drew negative criticism by using the word in such a way in his 1995 single “They Don’t Care About Us,” though the singer claimed the lyric was meant in opposition of anti-Semitism rather than in support of it.