What is a "p***"?

I just came across this story:

They say part of the racial abuse was the British woman called her formerly South African neighbour “a p***”

I understand the f*** that they use later, but I’m baffled by a p***.

I thought maybe “Paki”, but he was South African and has an SA name, so that doesn’t make sense.

Any ideas?

It’s spelt out in full in the article itself, and is, indeed, ‘Paki’.

He’s a dark skinned guy, with an accent and a name that’s hard to pronounce for a monoglot English speaker - I wouldn’t expect a racist to care whether he’s actually South Asian.

Yeah, this. In his photos, his skin isn’t particularly dark, so that was probably her best guess. Note that Paki is what idiot racists call anyone who looks remotely South Asian or even Middle Eastern.

I don’t quite know what I was expecting having read all the replies here before clicking the clink but a white guy called Terence Oosthuizen definitely wasn’t it.

Now, if it was a South African doing the swearing, that p*** would be a different word entirely…

“paki” is a fairly old insult. I haven’t seen it referenced in years. Partly because, by this stage, most of the “paki’s” would be born in England anyway. The fact that the bloke wasn’t a paki by any reasonable stretch of the imagination is part of the point of the article: it’s a man-bites dog story.

In the UK p*ki is absolutely the equivalent of the N-word. With all the same implications towards south Asians as the N-word does in the US (and elsewhere).

And someone who is South African is very likely to be of Indian or Pakistani heritage or appear to be (to someone like the person in OP) as they have mixed heritage. Similarly to the Sikhs getting abused in the US for being “muslim”

Err, no, not “very likely”. Only 2.5% of South Africans would qualify.

Only 10% of South Africans are mixed enough to matter, and of those, only, I’d say, 2% would be confused for Pakistani/Indian (as opposed to Black or Latin).

The guy in the OP looks like a typical White South African. Who are on average a bit darker than Brits, what with all that tropical living, but don’t look or sound remotely South Asian. He could also, with that name, be Coloured South African (but the military service bit kind of favours White for someone of his age), but he would still not sound like a South Asian. Bitch is just ignorant.

Upon looking it up, “Oosthuizen” is a Dutch surname, so he’s more likely just a swarthier-than-usual Afrikaaner.

That might be the case in South Africa, but in the UK a much higher percentage of South Africans I know are (or could be mistaken for) South Asian.

Also yeah, didn’t see the pic. I think she is just a goddamned crazy person.

I completely missed the line in the original story saying “paki”. Thanks for reading closer than I did.

I had the same reaction as several of you, the name and the look of the guy (to me) is nothing like the many Pakistani’s I know.

I’d agree that a key part of the story was to make it clear the woman is not only a bigot & racist but a rather dumb one (perhaps a “yob” or “bogan”?) Similar to the people that believe brown skinned Hindus and Sikhs are Muslims and all Muslims are terrorists.

A total aside, but one thing that both amuses and depresses me about living in South Africa, is that the “swarthier-than-usual Afrikaaners” (at least in my experience) tend to be the most racist.

Must be the swarthiness.

She could be a bogan if she lived in Australia (in fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say WOULD be)

In Britain, I think she’s a chav.

FYI: plenty of Coloureds have Dutch-originated surnames too.

Fairly trivial spin-off from essential topic of this thread: it has occurred to me, a Briton, to wonder why a certain sub-set of my compatriots lit as emphatically as they seem to have done, in particular on Pakistan and its people – as “shorthand” for “swarthy-complexioned incomers who they would prefer not to be here”. Many folk in Britain – or their forbears – originating from the Indian sub-continent: did indeed come originally from Pakistan, or Bangladesh which was formerly East Pakistan; but at least as many, came originally from (post-1947) India – which name and what it generally refers to, have been universally known in Britain for centuries, ever since we first involved ourselves with the affairs of the sub-continent.

I can only hazard a guess that – with Pakistan having existed as a nation only since 1947 – in the early years of large-scale immigration into Britain from those parts: this new name (and “Pakistani” for someone hailing from there) was latched on to by the Brits as a strikingly new and exotic word, with something of a beguilingly “explosive” sound to it – more fun to use, than the name “India”, which sounds a bit bland, and had become somewhat stale with having been around for centuries. Those who thus latched on to the “P-words” were not, in the main, employing them with positive connotations (though in my experience, “Paki” or “Pak” are sometimes used just neutrally, or even affectionately); but it seems that they liked the way they sounded.

Whatever it means, people’s kn*ckers certainly got into a twist over it.

My wild guess would be that “Indian” was vaguely associated, for older generations, with restaurants (even though they were often run by Bengalis from East Pakistan as it then was), doctors or fabulously rich Maharajas. By the 1960s or so, younger working class people were more likely to be aware of more distinctive concentrations of new arrivals from Pakistan, often from more rural parts of East Pakistan, living in closer proximity to white working class people, but perceived as more clannishly separated by religion and conservative social habits. Plus, the word is simply more explosive in sound, which makes it easier to express contempt (and that bit quicker to daub on a wall as an insult, and easier to spell).

I initially thought the reference in the article to PTSD from his time in the SA military related to the Border War, but with a reported age of 42, he would have been too young. I haven’t checked dates or dne the math, but I also think he would have been several years too young to be conscripted - if white. If he is coloured, he could certainly have served in the democratic era defence force.

FWIW, he looks like a white South African to me with some Greek heritage.

Ugh. The Dutch