A Jew and a Cabbie
On the way to drop off some shipments of the new book (that would be George der Naygeriker, Curious George in Yiddish), I started chatting with the cabbie -- a Dominican, it turns out. I learned some stuff. First, my neighborhood (the Lower East Side) is not Dominican; the Latinos down here are from all over. (I had already known that the main Dominican concentration in the city is in Washington Heights, but a bakery, some soccer fans, and other manifestations had led me to the mistaken belief that the LES constituted a branch of the DR Diaspora.) Second is the interesting way he referred to my religious-ethnic affiliation:
Eres un americano judio, no?
You're a Jewish American, right?
Interesting, because no one would use this locution ("Jewish American") in English, at least not these days. (Not that it's inaccurate or suspect, just out of date.) So: is this the way Dominicans (habitually?) refer to American Jews? Was it an effort not to say something unintentionally offensive? Just this cabbie's idiolect? Inquiring bloggers seek Dominicanologists for explanations.