The Controversy Over the Origins of the Word "Ghetto"

For a word that is, in terms of its linguistic history, a relatively recent one, ghetto’s origins have been an unusual source of contention and uncertainty.

A watercolor rendering of the Roman ghetto in 1885 by Ettore Franz. DeAgostini/Getty Images.

A watercolor rendering of the Roman ghetto in 1885 by Ettore Franz. DeAgostini/Getty Images.

Observation
Jan. 8 2020
About the author

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.


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More about: Ghetto, History & Ideas, Italian Jewry