Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lustrous; glistening.
  • n. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a Jew.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having a sheen; glossy
  • adj. Bright; shining; radiant.
  • n. A Jew.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Bright; shining; radiant; sheen.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bright; glittering; shining; beautiful.
  • n. A sharp fellow: specifically applied opprobriously to Jews: also used attributively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. reflecting light
  • n. (ethnic slur) offensive term for a Jew

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)
From sheen + -y. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You of course are right there are slang words that are used by ignorant people just as others in every language use insulting words, most of us have been referred to as sheeny and yid from time to time but we do not blame a whole society for the rubbish amongst them, that is the role of this writer even though he poses as the fourth son at Passover.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • I love the way that they are black but often, at certain angles, look sandy brown or, stranger still, a kind of sheeny silver.

    Country diary: Claxton, Norfolk

  • One of the five bushes has a very deep red bloom, the deepest red I've seen, almost becoming a kind of sheeny, velvety black down each petal.

    What I cooked last night.

  • He was not sure that he could manage the "sheeny," and he did not mean to take any chances with his district; let the

    The Jungle

  • For his help in this little job, the bartender received twenty out of the hundred and thirty odd dollars that the pair secured; and naturally this put them on friendly terms with him, and a few days later he introduced them to a little "sheeny" named Goldberger, one of the

    The Jungle

  • Doyle had done him a good turn once, he explained, and was really a bully chap; Doyle was a workingman himself, and would represent the workingmen -- why did they want to vote for a millionaire "sheeny," and what the hell had Mike Scully ever done for them that they should back his candidates all the time?

    The Jungle

  • He was not sure that he could manage the "sheeny," and he did not mean to take any chances with his district; let the Republicans nominate a certain obscure but amiable friend of Scully's, who was now setting tenpins in the cellar of an Ashland Avenue saloon, and he, Scully, would elect him with the "sheeny's" money, and the Republicans might have the glory, which was more than they would get otherwise.

    The Jungle

  • For his help in this little job, the bartender received twenty out of the hundred and thirty odd dollars that the pair secured; and naturally this put them on friendly terms with him, and a few days later he introduced them to a little "sheeny" named Goldberger, one of the "runners" of the "sporting house" where they had been hidden.

    The Jungle

  • But if by terms of opprobrium, such as "sheeny" and "dago," we convince them that they are held in contempt, and if by oppression and fraud we render them suspicious of us, we can easily compact them into masses, hostile to us and dangerous to our institutions and organized for the express purpose of resisting all Americanizing influences.

    Aliens or Americans?

  • Originally "sheeny" was an ethnic slur used to describe immigrant Jews, but in the Detroit area "the sheeny man" referred to anyone who patrolled the alleys looking for value in the trash of residents.

    historymike

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