I would need to use the word to run the poll, so I would like permission to do so.
The questions would be:
Have you ever met anyone who was offended by this term?
Would you say that a word is genuinely derogatory simply out of dictionary definition, or must there be some reasonable population of the world that is actually offended for the term to truly be derogatory?
I’ll let the IMHO mods reply to the poll request, but I would say that something can be derogatory based on both the person(s) that may or may not be offended, and the person’s intent independent of the target.
I’m familiar with the term, have been around plenty of folks who use it in both a derogatory and humorous way, and I know it’s fairly low on the scale of offensiveness.
Not offended, and doubt anyone else is. Most white folks I know see it as a well-deserved chance for an oft-maligned minority (blacks) to put white folks in their place, with a mild, deprecating, slightly funny term. Not really derogatory. Given the history and reality of power relations in US culture, a term for all white people really *can’t *be truly derogatory. (For certain subsets of whites – say, “white trash” – there can be, but not for whites in general).
I reckon a sufficiently skilled wordsmith can make pretty much any word a term of abuse.
IMHO just as ‘nigger’ is deemed offensive, so too equally should ‘honky / honkie’. It is, after all, the black equivalent, AFAIAA. Pretty much every dictionary lists it as a term of racial abuse or at least derogatory.
Huh. I’m Caucasian and I don’t find the word offensive at all. In fact, I find it amusing since I have a moderately deep baritone voice and don’t meet the stereotype of white people talking through their noses at all. I’m not a mod, so it’s not up to me, but I don’t mind if you use it.
Nope. It is not a word used to oppress a minority. The word bass thus never harmed me, and thus I cannot see how there is any problem with it. It’s a joke word, used that way as long as I’ve been alive, at least.
They even had it on TV, when nigger was a serious thing. And everyone laughed when Jefferson said it.
I would like to point out that this statement assumes an incredibly naive understanding of how dictionaries work.
The compilers of dictionaries print definitions and usages based on how some reasonable population of the world uses and understands the word. Few dictionaries, (and no good ones), are prescriptive. That is a task for authors writing stylebooks. Dictionaries are descriptive. They may take a couple of years to catch up to current colloquial meanings, but they are not laying down some arbitrary rule for how words should be viewed.