Non-offensive informal names for the inhabitants of your country

This “hoser” word - would I regret it if I were to ask what that’s all about? It sounds vaguely rude, but I never knew that was any name for Canadians, so I’m at a loss, but I promise not to call any of you one.

The hoser. (Wikipedia has everything!) It’s a class stereotype more than a national stereotype.

Ah. I get it. Thank you, o most estimable Canadian person. :slight_smile:

Celyn, too funny. :stuck_out_tongue: I’ll spare you the horror of the many other shortened versions of ethnic groups my zany Scottish relatives use. Honestly, these words are not motivated by racism. They seem more motivated to shorten every word into three letters or less. I know who raised me, and my mother is a progressive thinker and a feminist. Racism is not even part of our conscious or subconscious. My Scottish family is kind, generous, empathetic, and open minded. My cousin married a Chinese man from Hong Kong who keeps half the family employed in his restaurants. I won’t tell you the endearing word used for Chinese restaurants.

All of the social problems in Scotland have been the result of sectarianism, not race.

I’ll have to ask me mum about the term Paki over there. She does seem a little embarrassed when others hear her family use the term, but again it is all relative and should be considered in context with motive.

Thanks for the laugh!

Ahem Texas is NOT in the South, despite our geographical location being farther south than the South. It’s a weird sociogeographic thingy. Ignorance Fought. :smiley:

You’re really telling me that every use of the work ‘paki’ sees people hauled up in court on Incitement to Racial Hatred charges? :rolleyes: If somebody uses it as part of a racist tirade, then it’s a different matter, is it not?

The word has been so often been followed by ‘bastard’, ‘go home’, etc., that it’s acquired a taboo status by itself. Rather in the way the perfectly mundane ‘cunt’ came to be regarded as obscene.

There’s a degree of truth in this, especially in the west. But to a large extent, the “We’re not racist!” thing is a comforting little fairy tale. We Scots assure ourselves of this dubious “fact” because a) It helps us forget that we’re religious bigots as well; and b) It makes us feel superior to those nasty, racist English.

It doesn’t cut it. You should hear my grandmother rant about the “Pakis”, a word which pretty much refers to anyone who is darker-skinned than she is. And she’s not alone, or even particularly unusual.

Of course, the word is used inoffensively (or at least, with no malicious intent) by many, but I’d have to go along with Celyn. It’s a minefield.

Edit to fix quote.

I only mind it because “Pom” usually seems to mean English people. English folks don’t seem to care much, because the English and the Aussies are forever winding each other up about, well, everything.

I’m sorry; but when I see the word “desi”, the only pronunciation that comes to mind is “Loo-cee”. :wink:

That’s correct. I would no more call a Scotsman a “Pom” than I’d call him a “Yank” or a “Hatstand”. It just wouldn’t happen.

Poms are English, and as has been said adequately above, if it’s offensive, it’s only very mildly so, and well within the friendly limits of English-Australian banter. It ain’t “The P word”.

Yair, you’d have to be pretty thick, wouldn’tcha, not thinking to use 70s British TV as the benchmark for your personal ethics and values.

In fact, On the Buses is a veritable model for my ideals and aspirations in Sydney, 2007.

The only place I’ve ever encountered the word, within Britain, is on radio shows dedicated to Asian music. Of course, we use ‘Asian’ as a synonym for ‘South Asian’, anyway.

I accept that there are people, likely older, or come to think of it, young but not-very-educated, who will cheerfully refer to the local corner shop (convenience store? Mom & Pop store?) as “just going down to get some bread from the Paki shop” WITHOUT any racist intent. Likewise in the heyday of ice-cream shop and chip shops largely run by Italian immigrants" buying some ice-cream from “the Tally’s” was apparently a very common phrase and not at all badly meant, or so I gather.

All the same “Paki”, despite it arguably working as a simple abbreviation, just won’t do, as it has too much history of being the word of choice by the “send them all home” brigade for anybody having brown skin, no matter whether Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi etc, because the people using the term were not the type to stop and think and even get simple facts right. So, in short, far too often used abusively, and in any case often inaccurately. Bah, it’s taking longer than we thought, indeed. :slight_smile:

Note: I’m not saying this with the intent of being snippy about your family, unconventional and I’m glad you didn’t take it badly. I suppose I am just trying to clarify for North American and Australians and whoever Dopers where the word fits in in Britain. (Not that any such Dopers are likely to decide to take a vacation in a bleak winter here and risk saying the wrong things:D ). Basically, better if white people don’t use it, although people of Pakistani origin may. Oh words are fun, eh. :smiley:

Broadly speaking that is true. Yes, there has been quite a “colour problem” focussed on orange vs, green. :rolleyes: **But **that is not to say that there is no racism. Sadly there is. Oh yes, there is. There has been much grumbling from some people about asylum seekers in recent years, and the hate group for this month would appear to be Romanian street beggars. Praise be to all the gods that the damn BNP doesn’t get a proper foothold here, though, but I suppose that’s another thread.

I do seem to be wandering off the thread topic here. Oops. Sorry.
And welcome to the SDMB, unconventional :slight_smile:

Mindnumbingly obscure, but people from Gibraltar call themselves “Llanitos”/“Yanitos” and sometimes “Llanis”. It is believed to derive from the very common Italian name “Gianni” because many of us are of Genoese origin and at one point a lot of males were called Gianni. The local dialect (Spanglish with Genoese and other influences) is known as Llanito/Yanito.

We are also called “Gibbos” in English but it can be derogatory depending on the context and the origin of the user.

Yeah, Japs sounds like something they used during ww2 in a negative way … how about calling them Asians.

Actually no I dont think that every use of the word Paki sees people hauled up on charges,though I suspect that that has more to do with the Old Bill being snowed under with paperwork then anything else.

I have however seen a man sacked for casually mentioning that he was going to lag the pipework in the "Paki"womans flat when we were working on a tower block.
The woman herself was from Pakistan and the use of the word was in no way offensive but just a shorthand way of identifying a work location.

Amongst others we had the "Bikers"flat,the "old ladies "flat and many many more.

Your point that Paki is so often followed by Bastard etc.just doesn’t wash,if this was the case then Brit.would be offensive aswell as Brit was virtually always followed by Bastard when used by republican Irish when I was on that side of the water.

Are you really saying that because some people in the past have used swear words after Paki to be offensive that every single use of the word is intended to be offensive in every single instance?
Or are you saying that we should ban a word from the English language because the person saying it MIGHT,just MIGHT be thinking the word Basterd in their minds when they use it.

Where I live the most common word to follow Paki is shop,meaning a small corner shop run by Pakistanis.

Maybe we should ban the word "shop"as well in case thats offensive?

I’m sure, I don’t expect people of non-South Asian origin to automatically know that or whatever, but this is a board supposedly dedicated to fighting ignorance or whatever they claim so I’m putting it out there. A LOT of South Asians refer to each other as “desi”, especially across political boundaries like Pakistan/India. I have friends who are Pakistani Muslim but in many respects our cultures are extremely similar, even though I am Hindu Indian (by birth but I’ve been in N.A. since I was a child and am more accurately described as generation 1.5 bad misx of east/west). We bitch about our “desi” culture, not Pakistan/India etc…

Of course, if people want to bitch and moan about their god-given right to call every desi Paki or dothead or whatever people claim is so totally not racially motivated, that’s fine. Your average non self-hating South Asian is just going to assume you are a total cocksucker.

Obscure, yes, but still a bit of interesting fun trivia to know. You know in case I get on the wrong 'bus and find myself in Gibraltar one day. :slight_smile:

“Gibbos” seems too likely to be derogatory, somehow. Perhaps because, although it presumably has a soft “G”, I first read it with a hard “G” and got to thinking about gibbons. Yeah, caution - slow brain here. :smiley:

However, gibbons are perfectly nice, and of course really very funky.

Goodies’ “Funky Gibbon” from 1975 on YouTube

Replace ‘Paki’ with ‘nigger’, and ‘from Pakistan’ with ‘black’. Still OK? I mean, it’s just a word.

Hey, just a calm-down minute. I don’t see that the GorillaMan is at all supporting the use of the term “Paki”, quite the reverse, in fact.

His remarking that the only time he hears “desi” *within Britain" is “on radio shows dedicated to Asian music” is presumably a simple matter of fact, NOT remotely arguing that it is the wrong word or any such thing in the slightest.

And I’ve never even heard of “dothead”.

I don’t think there’s any real need for the “total cocksucker” thing. (oops, well, in certain specialised contexts, yes, I suppose:D )