Word Origin & History
1611, from It. ghetto "part of a city to which Jews are restricted," various theories of its origin include: Yiddish get "deed of separation;" special use of Venetian getto "foundry" (there was one near the site of that city's ghetto in 1516); Egitto "Egypt," from L. Aegyptus (presumably in memory of
the exile); or It. borghetto "small section of a town" (dim. of borgo, of Gmc. origin, see borough
). Extended 1892 to crowded urban quarters of other minority groups. Ghetto-blaster "large portable stereo" is from 1982.