Thursday, December 20, 2007

Star Trek's Jews

I was surprised to hear a group referred to as "the Ferengehs" on one of the later Star Trek program. According to my younger brothers, they fit the stereotype of the wandering, greedy Jews who live by commerce and usury.

What makes this truly weird, though, is that "Ferengeh" sounds quite close to the Arabic word for "Frank" or "Frankish," the medieval name for Europeans, specifically, Crusaders. The word even now refers to Westerners in in general. Ifranj is the plural in Standard Arabic. Of course the "g" sound is typical of Egyptian Arabic.

What little impulse was spinning through who's sleep-deprived head as the series was being produced?

1 comment:

Kahna said...

al'faranjah' is indeed an Arabic word for people who came from, for some, from 'abroad', some say from 'france' and others say from Europe.