Non-offensive informal names for the inhabitants of your country

I’m looking for - as the title says - non-offensive terms for the people who live in your country.

I might say: I have found that the *Brits *like their beer less chilled than the Yanks. I wouldn’t expect to have offended anyone. I’m guessing I could get away with Aussies.

This came about because someone last night said that The *Japs *really like…

Someone else said *Japs *is an offensive word. And so ensued a long debate about that. And then some wondering about what names weren’t offensive.

Yair, be careful with Japs.

Shit, I innocently said Paki to an online Indian-British friend of mine a few years ago. Boy, was I put in my place! Here was I thinking laterally, "Well if Aussie is a simple abbreviation of Australian, then Paki should be simple enough as a shortening of Pakistani.

I still think that way too, but having had my head chewed off over it, I refrain from saying so.

Be careful with “Yanks” around people from the South (USA). “Yankee” is a somewhat derogatory term for someone from the North. (Back to that whole “Civil War” thing.)

And didn’t I see something on Fark about a Welsh woman screaming because someone called her “English”?

The point being that someone, somewhere, is going to take offense to just about anything.

Only the stupid ones. Though I can easily imagine someone giving you a befuddled look or telling you that they’re not a Yankee, I honestly cannot think of anyone I know that would actually be offended by being called a Yank and I was born, raised, and spent 95% of my life in Tennessee and Alabama.

I’m a Brit. which is short for British but I am liable for prosecution in my own country if I say Paki.
Apparently its offensive to them.

I think the whole racial epithet thing is based on a misconception.

If a rabid Xenophobe of the fascist racist type is talking to a member of an ethnic minority he despises his hatred will be as evident whether or not he calls the person a Paki or a Pakistani,to him it makes no difference, he hates the person what ever the label.

I have myself spoken to rabid,republican Irish people who literally hate the English’s guts and for whom the term "Brit"is akin to a swear word and who were honestly surprised that I didn’t take offence to being called by that name.

Personally I’m proud of being a Brit and justifiably so but maybe I would feel differently about being called Brit. if I were secretly ashamed of being one,I honestly dont know.

Back to the O.P. around the world I’ve been called a Pom,Limey,Rost Biff,whitey,white boy and some unpronounceable things in the middle and far East.

“Kiwi” is non-offensive to us enzedders. (So’s enzedder, but not all that many would know what you were talking about outside of written context). To be a “kiwi” is a point of pride for us.

It surprises me how often I see someone from North America, say, think that “kiwi” is some kind of slur. Must be they’re thinking that someone’s named us after the berry, rather than the flightness ratite. Well, if folk think we’re as good as a well-known cash crop with lots of flavour and vitamin goodness – who’s to argue? :wink:

So are you saying that the reason the Japanese take offense at being called Japs is because … they’re secretly ashamed of being Japanese?

Abbreviations like Jap and Paki may seem innocent enough on their own, but these terms don’t exist in a vacuum. There’s a lot of historical baggage that goes along with them.

A couple of problems with the “Paki” epithet, I guess. One would be that it has been used as a term of abuse by white people. The other is that most people to whom it is applied are Indian, not Pakistani, and there is a degree of bad blood between the two countries.

Non-English Brits pretty much universally dislike being called “English”. Most Scottish people will just tolerate being called “jocks”, but I don’t think many would use the word themselves.

A foreign person calling an American a “Yank” will generally just be taken as odd or charming. However, I am from the Deep South living in New England and the term “Yankee” was stated to my face several times after I went back to visit. It wasn’ t meant kindly and I didn’t take it kindly either.

The correct term for South Asians is “desi” people!! Paki is asking for trouble. Besides, the reason I’d be offended to be called Paki even if it was just used as a short-form slang is that I’m not even FROM Pakistan.

In fact, I end up using “desi” when talking to Pakistani and Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans in order to be inclusive in noting the similarities between our cultures (annoying parents, skanky facebook profiles). They get pissed if you say “Indian” for obvious reasons. Because they’re not, you know, Indian.

Desi. Pronounced day-see.

Yes non English Brits get furious if they’re called English.

On the “Jock” score I would disagree,my experience in service life is that being called Jock is a source of pride which Scots use semi jokingly amongst themselves.

I was told once by a Scot that “You never mess with a jock and you never try to out drink a Jock”

Toi answer a previous poster on “Japs”,no I dont think that they’re ashamed of being Japanese far from it but I do think that they are aware of being literally hated by many Brits, Americans,Koreans,Chinese and the peoples of S.E.Asia for their acts in the WW2.,its all very well for the likes of you and me to say the war was a long time ago but try telling that to an ex P.O.W. of the Japanese.

And before anyone jumps in I personally have no beef with the Japanese.

From Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary:

That’s maybe just a forces thing. I haven’t encountered that attitude in civilian life. As Paul said, most Scots will tolerate being called Jocks as long as it isn’t preceded by “whingeing” or whatever. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve met plenty of people who thought “Polack” was the correct term for a person from Poland. :rolleyes:

People from Poland are Poles! Or Polish.

(Until someone who is actually from Poland comes in to correct me, of course. I’m only Polish-American.)

Well, it’s certainly an old and long-established word in English usage. Shakespeare used it in Hamlet, and it did not appear disparaging in context. (Naming his most foolish character “Polonius,” OTOH . . . well, that may have been based on an actual contemporary Pole.)

What’s the Polish word for a person from Poland?

Complete and utter nonsense.

The issue of mistakenly calling an Indian a “Paki” didn’t apply in my case: I mentioned Australia playing “The Pakis” - I was talking about cricket! So they were definitely from Pakistan. I still got in trouble for it though.

I remember the sporting commentators here used to say “Paki” all the time. Now that I think of it, I probably haven’t heard it for twenty years.

Costa Rico = Ticos

I can’t say I find “Yank” completely inoffensive. And I’ve never lived in the South, save three months in Texas.

I’m Salvadoran (from the Central American country of El Salvador, not to be confused with the island of Salvador off the coast of Brazil). My compatriots sometimes refer to themselves as Salvatruchas, but my mom thinks that term is vulgar so I seldom use it, and never in her presence. My older niece sometimes uses “Salvi” for short. I have heard other fellow Salvadorans refer to themselves as “Guanacos,” but that was many years ago, plus my mom says it’s offensive because it refers to a type of tropical lizard. Yes, I have an easily offended mother.