kike (n.) derogatory slang for "a Jew," by 1901, American English; early evidence supports the belief that it was used at first among German-American Jews in reference to newcomers from Eastern Europe, perhaps because the names of the latter ended in -ki or -ky.
There is no charity organization of any kind here [a small city in Pennsylvania] and, what is sadder to relate, the Jews in this city will not form one; that is, if the present temper of the people can be used as a criterion. The German Jews are bitterly opposed to the "Kikes," as they persist in calling the Russian Jews .... ["Report of the National Conference of Jewish Charities in the United States," Cleveland, 1912]
Philip Cowen, first editor of "The American Hebrew," suggests a source in Yiddish kikel "circle." According to him, Jewish immigrants, ignorant of writing with the Latin alphabet, signed their entry forms with a circle, eschewing the "X" as a sign of Christianity. On this theory, Ellis Island immigration inspectors began calling such people kikels, and the term shortened as it passed into general use.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Kike — (k[imac]k), v. i. [Cf. D. kijken, Sw. kika.] To gaze; to stare. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kike — (k[i^]k), v. t. & i. To kick. [Obs.] Chaucer …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • kike — (k[imac]k), n. A derogatory name for a jew, usually intended and taken as disparaging and offensive. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kike — Kike, s. Feuergieke …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • kike — [kaık] n taboo [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: Probably from kiki, from ki, common ending of names of Jews from countries in Eastern Europe] a very offensive word for someone who is Jewish. Do not use this word …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • kike — [kīk] n. [orig. uncert.] Slang a Jew: a hostile and offensive term …   English World dictionary

  • Kike — For other meanings, see Kike (disambiguation). In modern English language, the word kike (IPA: /ˈkаɪk/) is a pejorative ethnic slur referring to a Jew. In some languages, such as Spanish, this word (pronounced IPA|/ˈkike/) is a given name or… …   Wikipedia

  • kike —    An extremely offensive way of referring to or addressing a Jew. The term is used far more in the USA than Britain, and is of obscure origin. Leo Rosten, in The Joys of Yiddish, derives it from Yiddish kikel, ‘circle’. because illiterate Jewish …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • kike — Kyke Kyke, v. i. [See 1st {Kike}.] To look steadfastly; to gaze. [Obs.] [Written also {kike}, {keke}.] [1913 Webster] This Nicholas sat ever gaping upright, As he had kyked on the newe moon. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kike — Recorded in several spelling forms including Kick, Kike, Kikke, and Kix, this unusual name is English, and of Yorkshire origin. It is a locational or topographical surname from residence by one of the two Kex rivers in West Yorkshire. The first… …   Surnames reference