People, Eskimo != Inuit !!!1121

Over in the CLuba Baby seal thread, someone spouted a line about Inuit being a more aceptable term than Eskimo.

Get this straight: It’s not the same thing. Eskimo is a name for any of the peoples who live in the more-or-less frozen north. Which tribes or regions might be open to debate, but the Inuit themselves are generally considered part of the various peoples known as the Eskimo. And yes, it is a term used by white guys. So what?

Now, calling all Eskimos Inuit is, in some cases, an extreme insult. Don’t go to Alaska and start tossing the term around, or you might get yourself into a lot of trouble.

Now, I’m not gettting really angry about this. OK, I am, but I recognize I’m being overly irritable today and apologize for it.

If I can pile on, Gypsy != Romani. The former term can refer to Romani, Sinti, Travellers, or numerous other ethnicities.

Yeah! And Redneck != White Trash != Cracker != Hillbilly != Ofay!

Well, don’t go around calling Inuit Eskimos in Canada. That’ll get you in some trouble, too.


Bah. Missed the edit window.

Another cite.

Care to take back some of your vitriol?

Eskimo is, potentially, a derogatory term, being a word that does not derive from any of the populations it tries to describe. But at least it’s all inclusive. Inuit refers to only one group of Arctic populations, and is insulting to those populations that are not Inuit. But keep in mind that Eskimo works well in Alaska, but not so well in Greenland, where the people are, in fact, Inuit.

Having flashbacks? Computer caught in molasses? I seem to recall having already addressed the issue in that thread about four days before this thread was launched. I am also under the distinct impression that several of your claims in the OP are in error. It has been my understanding that there is nowhere in Canada where eskimo is not considered either insulting or, at minimum, wrong, so a claim that eskimo means “any of the peoples who live in the more-or-less frozen north,” while it might have been the word used among European settlers and their descendants for many years, does not appear to be an accurate statement at this time.

If I met an Eskimo/Inuit/North American Native Indian who preferred to take my obviously well-intended attempts to adress him as an opportunity to be insulted, I’d conclude I had wasted my time trying to adress him in the first place.

That’s about what I’d expect someone from Holland to say.


You gringos are so funny

Bloody hell, I initially read that as:

I need coffee.

Anyone who considers it an extreme insult when they are improperly addressed as a result of a completely innocent mistake, arising from a confusing, or obscure, or ill-defined set of terms, is a complete fucking idiot.

Now, anyone who considers it an extreme insult when they are improperly **undressed ** as a result of a completely innocent mistake, arising from a confusing, or obscure, or ill-defined set of terms, OTOH, do have a point.

I tried reading the OP but I just couldn’t get Inuit.

Darn, no. If I can’t get ludicrously over-emotional about trivial matters, the terrorists have won!

In any event, you cite actually suppots me. Eskimo isn’t intended to be derogatory, and it basically just means “those odd people way up north”. Inuit refers to a specific tribe which is usually included in that term. I hear most of the people called Eskimos don’t particularly mind it, like most Causasians in America wouldn’t partiuclar mind being called “Westerners”, although the term wouldn’t be very precise.

Note that Eskimo=Inuit is completely true for Canada and Greenland, which covers the majority of the area inhabited by Eskimo peoples. Eskimo does not necessarily=Inuit (but may) is only true for Alaska (both Inuit and Yupik) & Siberia (Yupik). Inuit is the name prefered by Canadian Eskimo/Inuit groups, but Greenland Inuit prefer to refer to themselves as Greenlanders or Kalaallit.

Current scientific understanding is that the term “Eskimo” is derived via French fur traders from a Montagnais Cree term meaning “snowshoe maker”, and has no derogitory origin.

Do it for America, my darling!

puts on Toby Keith CD
waves mini American flag
wipes tear from eye

If wiki is to be believed, saying the “E-word” in Canada is right up there with the “N-word”, while in Alaska, “Eskimo” is the preferred term to use when referring to native peoples “of Yupik and Inupiaq (Inuit) heritage”.

How the hell did that happen?

I’m offended. You mean gaijin.

But not if you’re WRONG. My cite says: “For many centuries, outsiders called Inuit “Eskimos.” Inuit no longer find this term acceptable. They prefer the name by which they have always known themselves – Inuit, which means “the people” in their own language, Inuktitut.” I’m not sure where you got from that that they’re okay being called Eskimos.

From here, the international organization representing these people also calls them Inuit.