Now here's a word I heard a lot as I was growing up. To me, the word itself has an ugly sound--as if spit out or coughed out. As you can see, Phil's entry from his Dictionary of Ethnic Bias says that the word "doesn't necessarily carry any negative connotations today," but I'm not sure I agree. Probably the emphasis is on necessarily, and maybe there's someone somewhere who uses that term in a neutral way, but to me, it's always going to be one of those "us versus them" things, with a superiority implied for "our" side. See what you think.
goy/a (adj. goyishe, or goyish; pl. goyim, goys); gentile. Goy is a Yiddish word for a gentile, from the Hebrew word goy (people, nation). It was used historically to mean those who were uncivilized or not of the true faith (also in one Hebrew sense, for a Jew ignorant of the Jewish religion). Although it may be used disparagingly, as in "a real goy," it does not necessarily carry any negative connotations today. Still, as a result of a long history of gentile persecution of Jews, some bias may be near the surface, as reflected in an old eastern European piece of ghetto folk wisdom, "Scratch a goy, you'll find an antisemite."
Goyisher-kop, "gentile-head," refers unflatteringly to gentile characteristics, or to a Jew who is said to think like a gentile.
Gentile, originally from a Latin word meaning “of the same class” or “nation,” is now commonly used for any person outside the Jewish community, often a Christian. Biblical references to "the nations," however, can mean Jews as well as non-Jews. Gentile does not normally carry any bias. A shortened form, tiles, saw some use on college campuses in the second half of this century. Among Mormons, gentile means anyone not a Mormon (hence, Jews are gentiles to Mormons).