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'Ghetto' has two possible sources:
- "getto", the Venetian word for foundry slag, because the Jews were only allowed on the same island where the iron foundries were.
- Others believe it is from the Italian word borghetto, meaning a little borgo or ‘borough’.
Originally the word "ghetto" meant the Jewish quarter of a European town. The term "ghetto" is now commonly used to refer to any poverty-stricken urban area with a concentration of minority groups. It is also used to refer to areas that are considered to be undesirable. A ghetto was also the name given to the area Jewish people were first kept in in the Holocaust.
- The New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition, Erina McKean, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-517077-6