1. Adjective, referring to something or someone who is not Jewish. Derived from "goy" - a Hebrew word used in the Jewish Scriptures (a.k.a. the Old Testament). The word means "nation," and is always used within these scriptures to refer to the nations of the world. Significantly, within the Old Testament, Judah (the Jewish nation) itself is called a "goy."
2. In the Old Testament, the Jews were called to be a nation separate from the other nations, which were all Pagan. And so, colloquially, all non-Jewish nations came to be called "goyim" as in "the nations" from which the God of the Old Testament had called upon the Jews to separate themselves.
3. A word used by some Jews to refer to the things of the Gentiles (non-Jews), whether ideas or cultural manifestations, etc. The word can have derogatory connotations, such as the word "black" when used to refer to a persons of African descent. It can be neutral or negative depending on the context and the intent of the speaker.
Pl. Noun: goyim
Adjective: goyish or, less commonly, goyisch
1. "Gather together, gather together, O shameful goy" - Zephaniah 2:1 (Referring to the Jewish nation)
2. Honey-baked ham is a goyish food; have some gefilte fish instead.
Hebrew/Yiddish term for someone/thing which is not Jewish.
"Descendants of this immigrant woman, you do not grow up in America, you and your children and their children with the goyish names. You live in America. No such place exists. Your clay is the clay of some Litvak shtetl, your air the air of the steppes--because she carried the old world on her back across the ocean, in a boat, and she put it down on Grand Concourse Avenue, or in Flatbush, and she worked that earth into your bones, and you pass it to your children, this ancient, ancient culture and home." --Angels In America, Tony Kushner.