Is "Canucks" a derogatory term?

I have a coworker who previously lived in Canada (though born in Eastern Europe) who frequently uses this term to describe Canadians. (We do a fair amount of work with our Montreal office.) Lately he’s taken to using it in emails. If this is a derogatory term then I feel like I need to instruct him to cease and desist, but I don’t know.

It’s used as the name of an NHL hockey team so I’m thinking it’s most likely inoffensive, but that doesn’t always follow.

:eek: You Take That Back! Now I’ll have to drink a double double and recite the Hockey Song!

No, it’s not offensive and about on par with the European use of Yank FWIW.

Note, before asking I looked at Wikipedia which said:

So my question was what exactly “most” and “there are individuals” meant. If 80% use it affectionately and 20% use it as a derogatory term then that doesn’t cut it for me. (“me”, in this case meaning my responsibility to avoid potential harm to my employer from offensive language in company emails.)

Canadians uniformly find it to be a deeply insulting term. They’re just far too polite to say anything about it. :wink:

Well done.
I was told, many years ago, that it was indeed a deeply insulting term for French-Canadians.

Speaking as an Ontarian, no it’s not offensive.

Meet Olde Tyme Canadian hero Johnny Canuck. So yeah, not an insult.

Wow, a thread with my name all over it.

It’s not offensive. The exception was that one time, back in 2011, when the Vancouver Canucks shit the bed and lost the Stanley Cup to the Bruins in game seven. That started a bit of a riot which led to a few hard feelings over the word, but that’s all blown over by now.

Since everyone seems to agree on Canuck, what about using the work Yank or Yanky to describe an American? Is that a similar thing?

Similarly, what is the derogatoriness level of using “newfie” for Newfoundlander? My general impression is that its more likely to give offense than “canuck”, (I grew up with newfie jokes replacing blonde jokes) but is still very mild and would more likely than not be accepted moderately cheerfully.

In my experience, Yank or Yankee is very, very rarely heard among Americans when referring to each other. I have a few non-U.S. friends who use “Yank” on occasion to refer to us, and it seems to go unremarked.

That said, there are two potential issues with it:

  1. Similar to Canuck, “Yankee” also is the name of an American sports team. Avid fans of their rivals (particularly Boston Red Sox fans) might take some umbrage.

  2. More broadly, it’s possible that some residents of the southern states that were in the Confederacy during the Civil War wouldn’t like to be called a Yankee.

As with Canuck, Newfie is one of those terms that we keep being informed is offensive, and yet, I’ve never met an actual Canadian, or Newfoundlander, who actually considers these terms offensive.

And this is coming from a Canadian whose mother is from Newfoundland, for what it’s worth.

It might be if there were to be a baseball team called the Yankees. :wink:

I met a “newfie” when I was overseas many years ago. She told me she was a “newfie”, so obviously it didn’t bother her. I’d never heard the term beforehand and I knew nothing about Newfoundland except it was a type of dog.

(Interestingly, she met another “newfie” working at the museum, which is apparently quite unlikely, there not being many people who live there to come across when you’re overseas.)

In my experience, “Yank” is exclusively used by people in some non-US countries to refer to Americans. It’s common in Ireland and I have heard it in England also.

“Yankee”, when not referring to the baseball team, has two uses. It’s a seldom-used general term for Americans. It’s also a more-commonly used but increasingly rare term for a specific group of Americans - born-and-bred New Englanders. I call myself a Yankee. I’m frugal, I can build things, I have a Boston accent, I live in an old house which I will never consider finished, and I’m a curmudgeon.

You might be thinking of “cuck,” the word of choice for the alt-right people who need to belittle others.

Well, the “Canuck Letter” – a hoax that said Sen. Edmund Muskie used to term to refer to those of French Canadian descent in Maine – was considered derogatory enough to derail his campaign in 1972. It was his reaction to it in a press conference that did the most damage, but the fact he called one to refute it shows it wasn’t acceptable there.

I think using terms like “Canuck” or “Yank” or “Brit” are usually harmless, but still inappropriate in a formal, business setting. I would not use those terms in written communications to business colleagues.

“Yank”, to me, sounds a bit antiquated, like I’m in a WWII movie or something. I’m not offended, just a bit amused.

Of those three terms, I’d say “Brit” is the most appropriate one to use. After all, it’s just a shortening of “British”.

Like I keep telling Germs, it’s fine.

Brit is not generally used in Britain; though Scot is totally fine, there is not an English or Welsh equivalent we use among ourselves, and that’s how most of us really identify. Brit isn’t offensive, but it kinda comes across as a bit careless and lazy.