I've invented a new word. Areaism.

Actually, somebody beat you to “areaism” – unless, that is, you are Matt Silberstein.

He coined the word, as far as the internet is concerned, back in 1997, in much the same context. Do a Google usenet search.

Rex: Why don’t you go tell Kal that “gypsy” isn’t really an (insulting term for a particular) ethnicity.

Or if you use the word “yinz.” That’s even less of a word than “youse.”

As for “gyp,” let’s turn to our old friend Mr. American Heritage Dictionary:

Implying, of course, that all Gypsies were swindlers and frauds. Hence the offense.

“Gyp” is inoffensive?

Sorry, but this is not a “little contest” but a discusssion of the ramifications of prejudice. White people do not suffer from prejudice as much as people of color have and do.

Ogre, after my bf is finished playing Civ II, I’ll post some hard data for you.


“White people are not looked at as potential shoplifters by storekeepers.”

Since when?

The prejudice against African Americans is very obvious. But using your logic, Jews might criticize Blacks for complaining because they see Jewish persecution as much worse.

Everyone has the right to be heard.

Many women of color have told me that in more recent times (the last thirty years) they have faced more prejudice from being a woman than from being an African American.

When I was growing up, women weren’t allowed to attend Harvard. Now, according to Sixty Minutes, 70% of the best qualified applicants are women. Yet the ratio of male to female is 50-50. In the 1970’s, women with college degrees earned less than African-American males with high school diplomas.

I believe in acknowledging prejudice and discrimination based upon many petty differences. But your sliding scale of importance might differ from mine. In fact, I don’t think it is really relevant to this particular discussion which one has been worse.


Wait, are you saying that even the word “gypsy” itself is insulting? Good lord.

It looks to me that the people in that link disliked gypsies because they live in nomadic settlements, are lazy, are “smelly”, they inbreed, and have “never done a day’s work.” That’s negative stereotypes for sure, but I’m not convinced it’s really ethnic. You hear alot of people here in America make similiar generalizations about the homeless, and the homeless share no single race or ethnicity.

People are described as gypsies who are clearly not Romany, do not speak Romany, and have not preserved the Romany culture. Hitler thinking of gypsies as an ethnicity does not make it so, his entire worldview was based on pigeonholing people into ethnic groups. If it’s not an ethnicity, than gypsy and it’s derivitives cannot be ethnic slurs. “gypped” might well imply that all gypsies are thieves and swindlers, and that’a a negative sterotype, but it’s not an ethnic slur.

How can gypsies be an ethnic group when they are comprised mostly of babies that they bought or stole?


White, born-and-bred southerner checking in. One thing first before I address the rest of it. Ferret Herder, I have never been anywhere where “y’all” is used in the singular. Ever. I have never heard it used that way by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. You are just plain wrong on that one. Though debating on the grammatical correctness of slang is a bit ridiculous, the word “y’all” does appear in the dictionary](http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=y’all[/url). “youse” does not.

Now to the rest of it. Though the cousin-marrying and trailer park jokes do get a bit old, lighten up people. Other regions of the country have their own stereotypes that are equally made fun of. New yorkers are rude, midwesterners are naive and hopelessly boring, Californians are goofy, crystal-wearing new agers, etc. If you think that the odd redneck joke is truly offensive to your heritage, then you are taking yourself far too seriously.

Lately, this message board has shown a distressing tendancy of saddling every possible group with the “oppressed minority” label. I imagine that the next thread will be about the systemic degradation of left handers. This distracts from the evils of actual discrimination and hatred, so please, please, stop the oversensitive yelping. We, as southerners, are supposed to have a bit more spine than that.

Good lord, why does every single thread about prejudice have to go like this? Why does it always have to turn into “well, my ancestors were more oppressed than your ancestors, so I can call you whatever name I want”?

We can argue all fucking day about whether it was worse to be enslaved but be guaranteed enough food, clothing, and shelter to keep body and soul together no matter what or to be free and unable to make a living wage because of slave labor. We can even argue about how women were treated as property into the 20th century, and how long women were barred from owning property and voting. We can discuss how my great grandmother was sold like a goddam mule at the age of 13 to a man three times her age for livestock and seed corn and why I’m still likely to be paid less than a man with the same skills, education, and training to do the exact same job.

You know what, though? It doesn’t matter whose great-great-great-grandparents were more oppressed by the rich people. (Don’t look at me, nobody in my family had land, much less enough money to buy slaves. We were the folks trying to scrape by in a land of slave labor.)

This thread wasn’t started to one-up anybody on persecuted ancestors. It was started as a complaint about the lack of common courtesy. If you’re prejudging someone based on superficial characteristics beyond their control, you’re an asshole, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if you’re judging someone based on the color of their skin, the slant of their eyes, the people they sleep with, or the accent they speak with. It’s still wrong.

Prejudice isn’t going to stop because I think it’s human nature. We all prejudge people whether we’re conscious about it or not. No one should act holier than thou when it comes to prejudice. I can think of one instance when a poster–someone who has posted on this very thread–wrongly assumed I was a Yankee because of my rant against a racist t-shirt. That poster has nan right to get angry about regionalism when they play the same ugly game!

[sub]yes, I said “nan”.[/sub]

We can’t help prejudice but we can make conscious decisions to rethink our prejudgements. The next time you try to ASSume something based on where they grew up or their accent, you should try to step back and reconsider. The next time a lame “Southern” joke pops in your head, think twice before uttering it out loud. Just keep your thoughts to yourself and no one will know you are just like everyone else–prejudiced.

First things first Monstro. Maybe they thought you were a Yankee because your location says Newark NJ, or maybe they were an idiot. Second, how terribly brave to let us know that everyone is guilty of prejudice and give an example of another poster. The truth is we are all guilty of varying degrees of prejudice, you and I included.

Yankees give Southerners a hard time and the same goes for the reverse. Is this really a serious problem?
Really this is just getting ridiculous. I am born and raised in Virginia and I"ve never thought to be offended by a Southern joke or the term redneck, unless that offense came from the quality of the joke.

I get the feeling, one which will be universally denied, that those parties who claim to be offended are not being entirely truthful. It is almost as if some people are sure that this must be offensive to some, as yet unknown, third party that they need to stick up for.

We really don’t all need to be chided by professional offense takers. Just today I’ve had the pleasure of knowing that someone is taking offense at any number of seemingly harmless threads. The idea of fashion victims is apparently off-putting(What does it matter what people wear) and the concept of Gaydar (I never would speculate on someone’s sexual orientation) is somehow unseemly.

Do we really have to watch ourselves like hawks here lest we offend the fragile self images of our fellow posters? Or more to the point do we need to limit our speech to those topics that carry no chance of offending any as yet undefined third party who may stumble onto the boards?

Please I beg you relax a bit.

Actually, friends of mine on another message board were discussing the usage of “y’all”, and some of them (not transplanted New Yorkers) used it as a singular term, plural usually being “all y’all”. Unfortunately the search feature on that board is broken so I can’t seem to figure out where they were from. Personally, I think that’s silly - but perhaps I’m biased because my Texan relatives always taught me that “y’all” is plural. :wink:

Some web search hits, FWIW:

This started as a pretty good thread but after the attack of the PC police I’m so depressed I’m thinking about hanging myself from the gunrack on my pickup truck.

I vaguely remember Jeff Foxworthy using “y’all” and “all y’all” as a joke.

But, where I came from (Texas Gulf Coast), we used “y’all” and “all y’all” as interchangeable for the same thing, more than one person.

For the other part of this thread, I like the last paragraph in CrazyCatLady’s last post. Very well worded.

btw… Howdy, Read_Neck! Love the name. :slight_smile:

And as far as I can tell, Foxworthy is Southern. So, maybe some areas of the South use “y’all” as a singular, um… word thingy.*

  • it’s drink, I’m lating… I mean… never mind.

I was searching for some surveys, some data and then I realized how foolish to bother. If white people insist on painting themselves as victims and claim that their pain at being called “rednecks” is as deep and wounding as the pain suffered by other groups, nothing I say will ever convince them otherwise.

One would think that true “PC Police” would approve of starting this thread–after all, these imaginary “PC police” would agree that everyone should get the opportunity to be offended, right?

So what’s the problem? According to most people’s definition, the attitude that fuels the “PC Police” is the motivating factor behind the OP.

Or maybe my PC police-ometer is messed up. :wink:

Just out of curiosity, is there any factual evidence to back up the assertion that “gyp” is short for “Gypsy”? Of the five dictionaries I have in front of me right now:

1.) The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Dell, 1972)
2.) Webster’s NewWorld Compact School and Office Dictionary - (Simon and Schuster, 1982)
3.) The New American Webster Dictionary (Time, 1972)
4.) Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary (Riverside Publishing, 1988)
5.) Webster’s New World Pocket Dictionary, Second Edition (Prentice Hall, 1993)

all of them say that gyp’s entymology is either possibly or probably rooted in “gypsy.” I’m not saying it isn’t, mind you, but I still haven’t seen anything that’s definite. Can someone come up with a citation that says otherwise? (And, yeah, I know that my dictionaries are older, but I was hoping that the late 80s, early 90s editions might shed some light on the subject. They didn’t.)

And, as I said in a previous thread, Cecil himself has used the word “gypped” as late as 1998.

The woman described in the news as a “gypsy” was an Irish Traveler. The Travelers are scorned in Ireland in the way that the Romani are scorned in Europe (using the same descriptions–just as the site to which I linked does) and have had the epithet Gypsy attached to them because of the similarity in perceptions by and in their treatment by others. Several families of Travelers migrated to the Carolinas and are now found through much of the U.S. (more frequently in the South). In the States, the name Gypsy followed them over from Ireland, so they continue to be called Gypsies, here.

When discussing outreach programs, the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops lists the Romani and Travelers together based on how they are treated, but notes that they are separate groups: Gypsy and Irish Traveler Ministries.