ethno – whats?

January 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ethnophaulism is a rather ugly word for a rather ugly concept – the ethnic slur. While the actual terms that an ingroup can use to denigrate an outgroup cane be sourced from features of the target culture’s appearance, dress -towelhead/raghead – a pejorative reference to Arab and Asian cultures, cuisine – les rosbif/rosbeef is the French anglophobe’s term for the English, I am interested in etnophaulisms that derive from personal names (see this post about Hori)

Here is a random selection of personal names that have become ethnophaulisms. Can you name the ethnic group denigrated?

  • Paddy Charlie Ann Taffy Dago
  • Does it help that Taffy is derived from the name Daffyd or David, and Dago comes from Diego.

    A current ethnnophaulism receiving a lot of attention in the media is guido, a reference to a particular kind of young Italian American. That is, all Guidos and Guidettes(!) present and Italian American identity but not all Italian American identities are Guidos. MTV’s shreality show Jersey Shore is an inside look at that this group:

    The reaction to the show has been extremely interesting many in the Italian American feeling offended by the representions offered by these self-proclaimed Guidos.

    The identity performances has many features, the tanning, the clothes, the sociality and the language. Here’s a (probably ot very long lasting link) to the New York Times on Language and the Guido identity

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