ganef vs gonif what difference

what is difference between ganef and gonif


Alternative forms

  • ganif, ganof, gonef, gonif, goniff, gannef, gonof, gonoff, gonoph, gonnof


From Yiddish גנבֿ(ganef), from Hebrew גנב(ganáv, thief).


ganef (plural ganefs or ganevim)

  1. (slang, derogatory) A thief; a rascal or scoundrel.
    • 1999, Steve Stern, The Wedding Jester, Graywolf Press, page 86,
      The streets swarmed with hucksters, ganefs, and handkerchief girls who solicited in the shadows of buildings draped in black bunting.
    • 2011, Eric Dezenhall, The Devil Himself, St. Martin’s Press (Thomas Dunne Books), page 12,
      I would love to have a little inside knowledge that my grandfather’s friends took down a president, but the reality is an endless procession of desperate little ganefs—and most of them are very small—trying to stay one step ahead of cops in suits from Sy Syms.


  • Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967


  • Fagen, Fegan



gonif (plural gonifs or gonivim)

  1. Alternative form of ganef
    • 1969, Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint
      Well, what do you know about that, Gentile America? Supergoy, a gonif! Steals money. Covets money. Wants money, will do anything for it. Goodness gracious me, almost as bad as Jews – you sanctimonious WASPs!

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