The Oxford English Dictionary has updated the definition of the word “Yid” to include “a supporter of or player for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.”
The term is known as an offensive description of Jewish people but Tottenham fans — a club with a large Jewish fanbase — often sing chants with the word during matches.
At games, Spurs fans can often be heard chanting “Yid army,” “yiddo” and “the thing I love most is being a Yid.”
The word has also been targeted at Spurs fans by other supporters as a form of anti-Semitic abuse.
In a statement to the Press Association, the dictionary’s publisher the Oxford University Press said that it would ensure the context of Tottenham’s inclusion would be clear.
“As we state at the closely related word YID… Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is traditionally associated with the Jewish community in north and east London, and the term is sometimes used as a self-designation by some Tottenham fans,” it said.
“We will ensure the context for this connection is very clear in both definitions.”
The publisher said the dictionary was a “historical dictionary” that “records the usage and development of words in the English language.
“We reflect, rather than dictate, how language is used which means we include words which may be considered sensitive and derogatory. These are always labelled as such,” it added.
The term has proved divisive among fans with some believing it is fine to use it while others consider it racist and offensive.
In a statement to the Press Association, a spokesperson for Tottenham said: “As a club we have never accommodated the use of the Y word on any club channels or in club stores and have always been clear that our fans (both Jewish and gentile) have never used the term with any intent to cause offence.
“We find the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word misleading given it fails to distinguish context and welcome their clarification.”
The addition was part of a number of changes and new entries that were added to the dictionary in January.