The following is a list of weird ethnic slurs (ethnophaulisms) that are, or have been, used as insinuations or allegations about members of a given ethnicity or to refer to them in a derogatory (critical or disrespectful), pejorative (disapproving or contemptuous), or insulting manner in the English-speaking world. For the purposes of this list, an ethnic slur is a term or word[s] used to insult on the basis of race, ethnicity, or nationality. Each term is listed followed by its country or region of usage, a definition, and a reference to that term.
Ethnic slurs may also be produced by combining a general-purpose insult with the name of ethnicity, such as “dirty Jew”, “Russian pig”, “stupid American”, etc. Other common insulting modifiers include “dog”, “filthy”, etc. Such terms are not included in this list.
Abbie, Abe, and Abie
(North America) a Jewish male. From the proper name Abraham. Originated before the 1950s.
(Chinese in the U.S.) American-born Chinese, a term used to refer to Chinese people who were born in the United States.
(South Asians in the U.S.) American-Born Confused Desi, a term used to refer to Indian Americans, Pakistani Americans or other South Asians, term as “desi,” who were born in the United States. The condescending term is used chiefly by South Asian immigrants to imply confusion about cultural identity.
(AUS) Australian Aboriginal person. Originally, this was simply an informal term for Aborigine, and was in fact used by Aboriginal people themselves until it started to be considered offensive in 1950s. In remoter areas, Aboriginal people still often refer to themselves (quite neutrally) as Blackfellas (and whites as Whitefellas). Although Abo is still considered quite offensive by many, the pejorative boong is now more commonly used when the intent is to deliberately offend, as that word’s status as an insult is unequivocal.
(U.S.) also Gator Bait. A black person, especially a black child. More commonly used in states where alligators are found, particularly Florida. First used in the early 20th century, although some hypothesize the term originated in the late 19th century.
Alter kacker / alter kocker (Yiddish) / alter kucker / A.K.
(North America) a disparaging term for elderly Jewish people. The term is of Yiddish origin (literally meaning old shitter). First used in the early 20th century.
a slur for a child born in the United States to immigrants or other non-citizens, regardless of the immigration status of the parents. The term refers to the supposed role of the child, as a U.S. citizen, in facilitating immigration through family reunification under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
an Anglo-Celtic Australian, possibly of convict lineage. Based on the belief that all Anglo-Australians are descended from convicts. Particularly offensive.
(North America) a white woman to a black person—or a black woman who acts too much like a white one. While Miss Ann, also just plain Ann, is a derisive reference to the white woman, by extension it is applied to any black woman who puts on airs and tries to act like Miss Ann.
(U.S.) a black person.
(North America) an American Indian (Native American) who is “red on the outside, white on the inside.” Used primarily by other American Indians to indicate someone who has lost touch with their cultural identity. First used in the 1980s.
an ethnic slur against Filipinos.
Aunt Jemima / Aunt Jane / Aunt Mary / Aunt Sally
(U.S.) a black woman who “kisses up” to whites, a “sellout,” female counterpart of Uncle Tom.
(North America; UK) an Asian person living in a Western country (e.g., an Asian American) who is yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Used primarily by Asians to indicate someone who has lost touch with his or her cultural identity.
Beaner / Beaney
(U.S.) a term widely regarded as derogatory, that refers to people of Mexican descent or, more specifically, mestizos of Central American descent. The term originates from the prevalence of frijoles pintos and other beans in Mexican food.
an offensive slur used by some United States white Southerners for an African-American perceived as being lazy and who refuses to work.
Boche / bosche / bosch
(France; U.S.; UK) a German [shortened from the French term caboche dure (hard head, or stubborn)].
(UK, Ireland) a person of common or low class Irish ancestry.
(North America) a person of east-central European descent. Originally referred to those of Bohemian (now Czech Republic) descent. It was commonly used toward Ukrainian immigrants during the early 20th century.
Boong / bong / bung
(Aus) Australian aboriginal. Boong, pronounced with ʊ (like the vowel in bull), is related to the Australian English slang word bung, meaning dead; infected; or dysfunctional. From bung, to go bung “Originally to die, then to break down, go bankrupt, cease to function [Ab. bong dead]“. Highly offensive. [First used in 1847 by JD Lang, Cooksland, 430]
Boonga / boong / bunga / boonie
(New Zealand) a Pacific Islander [alteration of boong].
A Bounty chocolate bar, being composed of coconut coated with chocolate; it is white on the inside and brown on the outside. As with wigger, this is both a subcultural and ethnic slur. The immediate target is criticized for having the cultural values of a different ethnic group, with the implication that the ethnic group in question is bad or inferior. Coconut and Oreo are used in the same way.
(U.S.) a. a person of mixed white and black ancestry; a mulatto.
b. (U.S.) a young, brown-skinned person 1940s–1950s.
(U.S.) an Asian; used by Calvinist author R. J. Rushdoony in one of his books.
(Indonesian) a commonly used word in Indonesia to describe a foreigner, especially Caucasians. Means Albino; sometimes used in pejorative manner.
a. a black person.
b. (U.S.) a young, brown-skinned person 1940s–1950s
Burrhead / Burr-head / Burr head
(U.S.) a black person (referencing stereotypical hair type).
an insulting term for people of Middle Eastern descent.
(Subcontinentals in Canada) – Canadian-Born Confused Desi – Similar to ABCD, but used for Canadian-born South Asians who are confused about their cultural identity.
1) (African-American, 1960s-1970s) A mildly derogatory term used to refer to white people as a reified collective oppressor group, similar to The Man or The System.
2) (Vietnam War military slang) Non-pejorative slang term used by American troops as a shorthand term for Vietnamese guerrillas. Derived from the verbal shorthand for “Victor Charlie”, the NATO phonetic alphabet for VC, the abbreviation for Viet Cong. Other references to the Viet Cong included “Mr. Charles” as a rueful admission of the skill at asymmetric warfare.
an Anglo-Indian or Eurasian half-caste [probably from Hindi chi-chi fie!, literally, dirt] Also can refer to English spoken with a Southwest Asian accent.
Cheese-eating surrender monkey
(UK, USA, Canada) a Frenchman, from the defeat of the French against the German in 1940, and the huge variety of cheeses originating from France. Gained popularity after the term was used on an episode of The Simpsons.
(U.S. and Canada) mocking the language of or a person of perceived Chinese or East Asian descent. An offensive term which has raised considerable controversy when used by celebrities such as Rosie O’Donnell.
found offensive, used in the gold rush and railway-construction eras in western North America, when discrimination against Chinese was common. Though widely used historically without offensive intent, the term today generates controversy when still used in geographic places associated or resembling Chinese. Fowler’s Dictionary of English Usage as late as 1956 describes it as the term for a Chinese person, whereas the term Chinese was only used as an adjective for things. Though it is widely used as an ironic self-reference by many North Americans of Chinese descent, and is still heard in the lyrics to the 1970s song “Kung Fu Fighting” and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift movie song “Tokyo Drift” by the Teriyaki Boyz, it tends to generate objections in modern times, especially in the US where Asian-American is the preferred nomenclature. (Note that in cricket, the term “chinaman” is used in a non-ethnic sense to refer to a left-handed bowler who uses a wrist spin action, and that a chinaman was also a type of 18th and 19th C. merchant ship, or a dealer in china ware.)
(U.S., UK, and India) used to refer to people of perceived Chinese descent, and by extension for other East Asians. Considered extremely derogatory, although at least one US school proudly used the term as a sports mascot until 1980.
(Latin American Spanish, USA) used in Latin America to refer to people of perceived Amerindian or African slaves descent; used in the USA to refer to people of perceived Mestizo descent, especially teenagers and young people in the lowrider subculture. It may be derogatory depending on circumstances. Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was nicknamed “el Cholo”.
refers to a person of Chinese heritage with white attributes, whether being a personality aspect or physical aspect.
a Jew, an allusion to Jewish deicide. On occasion it can also be used as an anti-Italian slur on the basis the Romans, as ancestors of the present-day Italians, executed Jesus.
(Canada) refers to an individual of aboriginal descent.
(US) a person of Hispanic descent who’s accused of acting white.
(New Zealand) a Pacific Islander. Named after the coconut, the nut from the coconut palm.
(UK/AUS) a black person who exhibits behaviour associated with caucasians; (US) a black person trying to be ‘white’.
(South Africa) a black person who acts white
(Canada) an individual of South Asian (typically Dravidian) descent, who is accused of trying to be ‘white’.
(North America) unskilled Asian labor, usually Chinese (originally used in 19th-century for Chinese railroad labor). Possibly from Hindi kuli, day laborer. Also racial epithet for Indo-Caribbean people, especially in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and South African Indians.
(U.S, U.K and Australia) a black person. Possibly from Portuguese barracão, a building constructed to hold slaves for sale (1837). Popularized by the song “Zip Coon”, played at Minstrel shows in the 1830s.
Coonass, or Coon-ass
(U.S.) a person of Cajun ethnicity.
(U.S.) a poor Appalachian or poor Southerner, a white person, first used in the 19th century.
a black person, spec. a black woman.
(U.S.) adjective: a person with slanted eyes (first used in the 1910′s)
(Australia, Africa, New Zealand, North America) a person of East Indian origin.
(UK and Commonwealth) refers to Italians, Spaniards, or Portuguese, possibly derived from the Spanish name, “Diego,” or a corruption of the title Hidalgo (member of the Gentry, from Spanish > hijo de algo “son of someone [important]“). 2) (U.S.) An Italian or person of Italian descent.
Darky / darkey / darkie
noun. used as a term for a black person, which may cause offense. Randall Kennedy’s Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word notes that some judges have considered “darky” a “term of endearment.” See also Minstrel show. In South Africa, however, it is not considered either racist or offensive, but is quite acceptable
an Asian, esp. a Vietnamese. Also used as a disparaging term for a North Vietnamese soldier or guerrilla in the Vietnam War. Origin: 1965–70, Americanism
(CAN) Irish Catholic [19th century on; origin uncertain: perhaps from Dugan, an Irish surname].
(AUS) A derogatory term for white Australians, primarily used by Greek and Italian migrants.
(US) a derogatory term used for Arabs. By analogy with sand nigger, below.
a black person; slang, usually used disparagingly
(British) an Italian person; slang, usually used disparagingly. Originated through the mispronunciation of “Italian” as “Eye-talian.”
(Northern Ireland and west of Scotland Protestants) originally the name of a political movement, the Fenian Brotherhood, but now a derogatory term aimed at Catholics, especially those thought to sympathise with the IRA.
(Western World) a derogatory term for Filipinos.
(Northern Ireland) a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, especially to Ulster Protestants. Also used by Irish Republicans to refer to Irish people who they believe are less than patriotic.
Fresh off the boat
(sometimes shortened to “F.O.B.” or “FOB”), a derogatory term for people of foreign nationality, who have arrived in a host nation as tourists, immigrants, students, or most commonly, as work permit applicants.
(UK, France, Hungary (“fricc”), Poland [Fryc], Russia [фриц] ) a German [from Friedrich (Frederick)].
(Canada, UK and US) a French person. Prior to 19th century, referred to the Dutch (as they were stereotyped as being marsh-dwellers). When France became Britain’s main enemy, replacing the Dutch, the epithet transferred to them, due to the French recipe for eating frogs’ legs (see comparable French term Rosbif). Also used in Canada to refer to both the French and French Canadians, and occasionally incorrectly as more broadly to people from Quebec who are not, in fact, necessarily French or French speaking.
(UK) colonialist term used to refer to the Hadendoa warriors in the 19th Century. Not applicable in Australia, see Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels
a black person.
(JP) a derogatory term for any non-Japanese person. Shortened form of ‘Gaikokujin’ (person from another country). Used often against Caucasians.
(AUS) an Aboriginal woman.
(AUS) a white person having casual sex with an Aboriginal woman. Pejorative. See also gin burglar
A predominately UK expression which originally was a children’s literature character and type of black doll but which eventually became to be used as a jibe against people with dark skin, most commonly Afro-Caribbeans.
Gook-eye, Gooky, Gook
a derogatory term for Asians, used especially for enemy soldiers. Its use as an ethnic slur has been traced to U.S. Marines serving in the Philippines in the early 20th century. The earliest recorded example is dated 1920. It gained widespread notice as a result of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Goy, Goyim, Goyum
A Hebrew biblical term for “Nation” or “People”. By Roman times it had also acquired the meaning of “non-Jew”. In English, usage may be controversial, it can be assigned pejoratively to non-Jews.
A person of Italian descent. It can also refer to any person of Mediterranean / Southern European descent or Hispanic descent.
a foreigner; especially used disparagingly against North Americans and North Europeans in Latin America. (from the Spanish word “griego”, meaning Greek. The use of the term Greek for something foreign or unintelligible is also seen in the similar expression “it’s Greek to me”.) The term lends itself to derogatory or paternalistic connotations, but in most of the contexts it may not be meant pejoratively.
(US) A black person. Offensive. Derived from “negroid”.
(AUS) Aboriginal pejorative term for white people
Mexican term for a light-skinned person.
Gweilo, gwailo, or kwai lo (鬼佬)
(used in South of Mainland China and Hong Kong) A White man. Loosely translated as “foreign devil;” more literally, might be “ghost dude/bloke/guy/etc.” Gwei means “ghost.” The color white is associated with ghosts in China. A lo is a regular guy (i.e. a fellow, a chap, or a bloke). Once a mark of xenophobia, the word is now in general, informal use but still considered derogatory.(Actually to many local Hong Kong people,this term have cutty or even superior respectful kind of meaning)
(US) An Italian-American male. Usually offensive. Derives from the Italian given name, Guido. Used mostly in the Northeastern United States as a stereotype for working-class urban Italian-Americans.
A person of Italian birth or descent. Most likely derived from “Guinea Negro,” implying that Italians are dark or swarthy-skinned like the natives of Guinea. The diminutive “Ginzo” probably dates back to World War II and is derived from Australian slang picked up by US servicemen in the Pacific Theater.
Gypsy, Gyppo, gippo, gypo, gyppie, gyppy, gipp
a. A Romani people . b. (UK and Australia) Egyptians.
(South Africa) a derogatory term for Afrikaners
Hajji, Hadji, Haji
(US) Used by some U.S. servicemembers to describe Iraqis, Arabs, Afghans, or Middle Eastern and South Asian people in general. Derived from the honorific Al-Hajji, the title given to a Muslim who has completed the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).
A derogatory term used to describe anyone who is mixed Native American (especially North American) and white European parentage. Métis is a French term for a half-breed, and mestizo is the equivalent in Spanish.
(UK) Derogatory term against people who are born of mixed race. Often shortened to ‘Halfie’.
(US, Hawaiian) A non-native, used by Hawaiians mainly to refer to whites (less commonly to refer to non-Hawaiians). Can be used neutrally, dependent on context.
(U.S.) an offensive term for a Jewish person, derived from the word “Hebrew”.
(AUS) 19th century, Hindu. Often not offensive.
Honky also spelled “honkey” or “honkie”
(1) (U.S.) an offensive term for a white person. Derived from an African-American pronunciation of “hunky”, the disparaging term for a Hungarian laborer. The first record of its use as an insulting term for a white person dates from the 1950s.
House Nigger / House negro
(U.S.) a derogatory term for affluent or highly educated African-Americans. Derived from the fact that African slaves who worked in the homes of their masters gained their favor, and were able to advance socially by reporting suspicious slaves and or activity.
(U.S. and U.K.) 1) A derogatory term for Germans, especially German soldiers; popular during World War I. Derived from a speech given by Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany to the German contingent sent to China during the Boxer Rebellion in which he exhorted them to “be like Huns” (i.e., savage and ruthless) to their Chinese enemy. 2) An offensive term for a Protestant in Northern Ireland or historically, a member of the British military in Ireland (“Britannia’s huns”).
(U.S.) an offensive term for a Jewish person, derived from the personal name Hyman (from the Hebrew name Chayyim). Jesse Jackson provoked controversy by referring to New York City as “Hymietown” in 1984.
Ikey / ike / iky
a Jew [from Isaac]
Ikey-mo / ikeymo
a Jew [from Isaac and Moses]
an offensive term for Indonesian citizens and Indonesia in general. Used mostly in Malaysia and Singapore.
an offensive term for a Native American, corrupted “Indian”.
(US, especially during World War II) a Japanese soldier or national, or anyone of Japanese descent. Also an acronym for “Jewish-American Princess”.
(Commonwealth, especially during World War II) a. a German national. b. a German soldier [Probably an alteration of German]. Origin of Jerry can.
Jigaboo, jiggabo, jigarooni, jijjiboo, zigabo, jig, jigg, jigga, jigger
(U.S. and UK) a black person with stereotypical black features (e.g. dark skin, wide nose, and big lips). Jiggaboo or jigabo is from a Bantu verb tshikabo, meaning meek or servile.
Jock, jocky, jockie
(UK) a Scottish person, Scots language nickname for the personal name John, cognate to the English, Jack. Occasionally used by the English as an insult. but also in respectful reference to elite Scottish, particularly Highland troops, e.g. the 9th (Scottish) Division. Same vein as the English insult for the French, as Frogs.
(US) an athlete, sometimes used pejoratively, as in “dumb jock” (a reference to an athlete with minimal academic skills, a stereotypical belief being s/he was promoted in school simply due to enhance a particular school athletic program) or “pampered jock” (a reference to an athlete getting preferential treatment due to his/her athletic prowess and notoriety, where such treatment – such as reduced punishment for criminal conduct – would not be provided to a non-athlete similarly situated).
(U.S. and UK) a black person.
Kaffir, kaffer, kaffir, kafir, kaffre, kuffar
(South Africa) a. derogatory for a black person. b. also caffer or caffre: a non-Muslim. c. a member of a people inhabiting the Hindu Kush mountains of north-east Afghanistan. Origin is from the Arab word kafir meaning infidel used in the early Arab Zanzibarian trading posts on the Indian Ocean coast in Africa to refer to the non-Islamic black people living in the interior of Africa. The term is still used as a pejorative by some Muslims, particularly Islamists in such a context. The term passed into modern usage through the British because on early European maps Southern Africa was called by cartographers Cafreria (the name derived from the Arab word “kafir”) and later Kaffraria. Thus the British used the term “kaffirs” to refer to the mixed groupings of people displaced by Shaka when he organized the Zulu nation. These groups (consisting of Mzilikaze, Matiwani, Mantatisi, Flingoe, Khoikhoi, and Xhosa peoples inhabited the region from the Cape of Good Hope to the Limpopo river) fought the British in the Kaffir Wars 1846–1848, 1850–1852, and 1877–1878.)
Kike or kyke
(U.S.) a derogatory term for Ashkenazi Jews. From kikel, Yiddish for “circle”. Immigrant Jews signed legal documents with an “O” (similar to an “X”).
the nonspecific racist slur of “kala” (Burmese: ကုလား; MLCTS: ku. la:) is used against Muslim and Indian immigrants in Burma, especially when referring to Burmese Muslims.
a word used to describe people originating from the Indian subcontinent by native Malaysians and Indonesians – originally merely descriptive,it has come since the 1960′s to be considered offensive by a majority of Indians
Kraut (from Sauerkraut)
(North America and Commonwealth) Derogatory U.S. and British term for a German, most specifically during World War II.
(US) a British person. Comes from the historical British naval practice of giving sailors limes to stave off scurvy.
an Australian Aboriginal woman.
originally used by francophone colonialists in Central Africa’s Belgian Congo to refer to the native population; use has expanded to other groups, including North Africans and Indians.
Mack, Mick, Mickey, Mickey Finn
a. (Britain, Commonwealth and U.S.) an Irish person or a person of Irish descent. Mick is considered more offensive in the U.K. and U.S.. From the prefix “Mc”/”Mac” meaning “son of” that is commonly found in Irish surnames. b. (Australia) a Roman Catholic [19th century on, from Michael].
(Bangladesh) A derogatory term used to refer to the Hindus. It is considered an ethnic slur.
used to call a person of Kerala (Indian) origin or the one who speaks Malayalam.
Mat Salleh (slur) Mat Salleh kotek bengkok
A derogatory Malay term used for Caucasians. Originally, it was used to mock English sailors, that is, as “mad sailors”" Even more insulting is the addition of the words “kotek bengkok”, which means “bent penis”.
Mock / moch
(U.S.) a Jew [first used in the 1960s as an abbreviated form of mocky (qv)
Mocky / moky / moxy / mockey / mockie / mocky
(U.S.) a Jew [first used in the 1930's]
(US) A black person. Popularized by Russell Peters stand up at Def Jam.
Moulie / Moulignon
Offensive word for a black person, used by Italians in US. It is a corruption of melanzane, the Italian word for eggplant.
Munt / Munter
(among whites in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia) a black person. Derives from muntu, the singular Bantu word for “person” In the UK, the word means “ugly person”, especially “ugly woman”.
Mustalainen (sing.)/Mustalaiset (pl.)
derived from the Finnish word for “Black”, it is a word for the Finnish Kale – a group of the Romani people that lives primarily in Finland and Sweden. It is nowadays sometimes considered an offensive term, and in common and official context romani is considered more appropriate.
Muzzie / Mussie
(Europe and US) A highly offensive slang term for a Muslim.
a term used to describe a young black person.
(UK) a black person. – note alternative original mildly derogatory meaning in the UK: “a novice; a foolish or naive person”
Nigger / Niger / nig / nigor / nigra / nigre (Caribbean) / nigar / niggor / niggur / nigga / niggah / niggar / nigguh / niggress / nigette
(International) An American-English slur originally used to refer to black-skinned people, but developed a dual meaning in the late 20th century.
(U.S. and UK) A derogatory term for someone of Japanese descent (shortened version of Nipponese, from Japanese name for Japan, Nippon)
Nitchie / neche / neechee / neejee / nichi / nichiwa / nidge / nitchee / nitchy
(CAN) a North American Indian [From the Algonquian word for "friend"].
(UK) (See also Southern Fairy) used as a pejorative in the south of England, relating to the supposed stupidity and lack of sophistication of those in the north of the country. In some cases this has been adopted in the north of England, with a pub in Leeds even taking the name ‘The Northern Monkey’.
(AUS and NZ) an uncultivated Australian.
(US) a white person, unknown etymology.
(Scotland, (Northern) Ireland) used by Catholic Irish or Scottish Republicans for a presumed Protestant in Ireland or Great Britain, who is perceived to be a Unionist, i.e. supporting union of Northern Ireland with the United Kingdom. “Orange” refers to the Orange order, an order in Northern Ireland, playing a major role on the Unionist Protestant side in the Northern Ireland Conflict (see Orangemen’s Day), typically a supporter of the Glasgow football club Rangers FC (see Old Firm, Sectarianism in Glasgow).
(US) a racial slur for being black on the outside and white on the inside, hinted by the appearance of an Oreo cookie. Compare Magic Middle.
(Primarily UK) an Irishman. derived from a nickname for Pádraig. Often derogatory; however, Lord Edward FitzGerald, a major leader of the United Irishmen of 1798, proclaimed himself proudly “a Paddy and no more” and stated that “he desired no other title than this”.
(United Kingdom) used as a derogatory term directed towards South Asians (and sometimes Middle Eastern people), it is usually considered offensive when used by a non-Asian in the UK.
(United Kingdom) Used as a derogatory term directed towards South Asians (and sometimes Middle Eastern people). The term was most infamously used during a Celebrity Big Brother racism controversy.
Pancake Face, Pancake
an Asian person
Pepper or Pepsi
(Canada) a French Canadian or Québécois Derived from the Anglo-Canadian jibe that their stereotypically bad dental hygiene was due to drinking Pepsi or Dr Pepper for breakfast.
a term – generally considered derogatory – that in English usage refers to black children, or a caricature of them which is widely considered racist.
Pikey / piky / piker
(Britain) derived from “turnpike”. a. Irish Traveller, b. Gypsy, c. an itinerant or vagrant lower-class or poor person. Sometimes used to refer to an Irish person [19th century on].
(Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) Originally used by Russian troops as a disparaging term for an American soldier during Kosovo_War. Currently is applied to any American.
Pocho / pocha
(Southwest U.S., Mexico) adjective: term for a person of Mexican heritage who is partially or fully assimilated into American culture (literally, “diluted, watered down (drink); undersized (clothing)”).
a Pole or a person of Polish origin, from the Polish endonym, Polak (see Name of Poland). Note: the proper Swedish demonym for Polish people is polack and the Norwegian equivalent is polakk.
Pom, Pohm, Pommy, Pommie, Pommie Grant
(AUS/NZ/SA) a British (usually English) immigrant. Some claim it derives from “Prisoner of Mother England” or “Prisoner of Her Majesty”, but it probably derives from pomegranate, rhyming slang for “immigrant”. It is often used irreverently and is usually considered offensive. Many such migrants to Australia, such as Prime Minister Julia Gillard, call themselves “ten pound poms”, because they paid ten pounds for their passage to Australia between 1945 and 1972 under an assisted migration scheme. Often combined with an adjective, particularly whingeing pom, a reference to migrants who complained about their adopted country. Often used in a sporting (especially cricket and rugby) context, with liberal use of ‘pom’ and ‘Aussie’ being used by the media; the term is often seen as unoffensive in this context, and instead as light-hearted banter by those who use it, but still possibly as offensive by those whom it is directed at.
a black person referring to perceived common behavior of groups hanging out on front porches or steps of urban apartment complexes in U.S. cities.
a Native American
a slur that was used through the mid 20th century by southern African Americans and upper class whites used to describe poor rural whites. It is still used mostly by African Americans against White people.
a black person. From the West African name Kwazi, often given to a child born on a Sunday
an ethnic slur used against Arabs, Indian Sikhs and some other peoples, denigrating them for wearing traditional headdress such as turbans or keffiyehs. Sometimes used generically for all Islamic nations. See Towel head.
in Barbados, the term is offensive to many, and refers to the islands’ laborer-class whites.
in the US, the term is offensive to many, and refers to Southern laborer-class whites.
a controversial term referring to Native Americans, used in the names of several sports teams in the US.
(English-speaking Asians) a white or non-Asian person.
disparaging when used by foreigners for “Russian” (actually, these are transliterations of the Russian “Русский” (in Russian pronounced: Rooskiy) for “Russian” and the spelling Russkiy is almost always in a literary context. “Russki” in Russian simply means someone who is an ethnic Russian as opposed to a minority nationality within the Russian Federation.)
(U.S.) a derogatory term for an African American, Black, or sometimes a South Asian person.
an ethnic slur used against Iranians, Arabs and those thought to be Arabs.
(England, archaic) a Scottish person, local variant of Sandy, short for “Alisdair”.
a Yiddish derogatory term for someone of African descent.
(Australian/British) An American. (Cockney rhyming slang: Septic tank – Yank)
(U.S.) a 19th-century derogatory term for an “untrustworthy Jew.”
(Ireland) a pejorative term for the Travelling Folk. Derived from siúilta, which means “The Walkers” in Irish.
a pejorative term, mostly in North America, for a non-Jewish woman. Derived from the Hebrew root Shin-Qof-Tzadei (שקץ), meaning loathsome or abomination. Most commonly used to refer to a non-Jewish woman who is dating or married to a Jewish man.
a disparaging term for a black person originating from their working at shoe shine stands on urban streets or in bus and train station terminals.
a pejorative term used by Jews against non-Jewish men, especially those perceived to be anti-Semitic. The singular is sheigetz.
(Aus) a person of Anglo-Australian decent, alluding to the name of a kangaroo in a once-popular Australian television show for children.
a pejorative term for a person of Far Eastern origin (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese etc.) Derived from the term for those who have epicanthic folds
Slope, slopehead, slopy, slopey
(U.S. and Aus) a person of Asian (in Australia, especially Vietnamese; in America, especially Chinese) descent.
Smoked Irish / smoked Irishman
(U.S.) a 19th century term for Blacks (intended to insult both Blacks and Irish).
a Canadian working, studying, living, or immigrating illegally to the U.S. or a Canadian spending the winter in the US. Also known as a frostback.
a black person [originated in the U.S. in the 1950s]
a black person, recorded since 1928 (OED), from the playing cards suit.
A term used for an African American, or other person of African descent.
Spic, spick, spik, spig, or spigotty
(U.S) a. a person of Hispanic descent, or a person of actual or presumed Puerto Rican origin whether or not of Hispanic descent. Use of the word is often perceived as extremely offensive if used by a person not of Latino descent in any context. Origin uncertain. First recorded use in 1915. Theories include from “no spik English” (and spiggoty from the Chicano no speak-o t’e English), but common belief is that it is an abbreviation of “Hispanic” b. the Spanish language. In the UK this term is more commonly used towards people of Italian/Mediterranean descent rather than Hispanics.
a black person, attested from the 1940s. This particular slur plays a pivotal role in the novel The Human Stain and the film based on it.
a Nordic person, esp. German. The slur refers to either the stereotyped shape of their heads, or to the shape of the Stalhelm M1916 steel helmet, or to its owner’s stubbornness (like a block of wood).
(U.S. and CAN) an often offensive term for female Native American. Derived from lower East Coast Algonquian (Massachuset: ussqua), which originally meant “young woman”, but which took on strong negative connotations in the late 20th century. (The equivalent derisive for a male is “buck”, and for a child, “papoose”.)
a term used ambiguously in southern Oregon directed towards the Klamath people during a dispute over the sucker fish of the Klamath River which was considered sacred by the tribe. Troublemakers displayed bumper-stickers with the message “Save a Farmer, Fillet a sucker fish.”
(Ireland) a British person, a derogatory term for British people, derived from the Black and Tans, the nickname for an auxiliary British Army unit deployed to Ireland in the 1920s and which gained a reputation for brutality.
Taffy or Taff: (UK) a Welsh person. First used ca. 17th century. From the River Taff or the Welsh pronunciation of the name David (in Welsh, Dafydd). Children’s rhyme: “Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief”. Generally considered offensive when used by an English person, although it has appeared in such family-friendly series as Dad’s Army, where it was used as a lighthearted nickname.
Taig (also Teague, Teg and Teig)
a vitriolic slur used by loyalists in Northern Ireland for members of the nationalist/Catholic/Gaelic community. Derived the Irish name Tadhg, often mistransliterated as Timothy.
(UK; U.S.; and N.Z.) a black child.
(British) A black person. [19th century]
(Southern Scotland) somebody from the north of Scotland or rural Scottish areas. Used as a derogatory term to cause offense.
(UK) a black person.
an ethnic slur against Native Americans.
Tinker / tynekere / tinkere / tynkere, -are / tynker / tenker / tinkar / tyncar / tinkard / tynkard / tincker
a. (Britain and Ireland) an inconsequential person (typically lower class); (note that in Britain, the term “Irish Tinker” may be used, giving it the same meaning as example b.)
b. (Scotland and Ireland) a Gypsy [origin unknown – possibly relating to one of the 'traditional' occupations of Gypsies as travelling 'tinkerers' or repairers of common household objects]
c. (Scotland) a member of the native community previously itinerant (but mainly now settled) who were reputed for their production of domestic implements from basic materials and for repair of the same items, being also known in the past as “travelling tinsmiths”. The slur is possibly derived from a reputation for rowdy and alcoholic recreation. Often wrongly confused with Gypsy/Romany people.
Touch of the tar brush
(British) derogatory descriptive phrase for a person of predominantly Caucasian ancestry with real or suspected African or Asian distant ancestry.
a pejorative for an American black person who is perceived as behaving in a subservient manner to white authority figures. “Tío Tomás” is the equivalent pejorative slur by Hispanics towards Hispanics who learn English and are serious about their studies.
(US) a derogatory term for a Latino person. Originally applied specifically to Mexican migrant workers who had crossed the Rio Grande border river illegally to find work in the United States, its meaning has since broadened.
White Nigger / Wigger / Whigger / Wigga
(US) used in 19th-century United States to describe the Irish. Sometimes used today in reference to white people in a manner similar to white trash or redneck. Also used to describe white youth that imitate urban black youth by means of clothing style, mannerisms, and slang speech. The ‘w’ at the start of wigger refers to the white person and the ‘igger’ refers to nigger, which is a racial slur for black people. Also used by radical Québécois in self-reference, as in the seminal 1968 book White Niggers of America.
a term for a Caucasian, commonly used in a derogatory manner.
(UK and Commonwealth) a generic term for any swarthy or dark-skinned foreigner. Possibly derived from “golliwogg” In Britain, it usually refers to dark skinned people from Asia or Africa, though any truly xenophobic Englishman knows that “the Wogs begin at Calais”. Wog is also a backronym for Worthy Oriental Gentleman. In Australia the term “wog” is usually used to refer to Mediterranean Europeans (Spaniards, Italians, and Greeks), Eastern Europeans (Bosnians, Macedonians, Serbians, Croatians, or Albanians), and Near Eastern or Middle Eastern people (Turks, Arabs and Persians).
(North America and UK) a racial term for anyone of Italian descent, derived from the Italian dialectism, “guappo,” close to “dude, swaggerer” and other informal appellations, a greeting among male Neapolitans. Although this is the term’s original origin, “wop” evolved into a racial slur against Italians and Italian Americans during the 20th century, with its most common use being a derogatory backronym for ‘WithOut Papers’.
shortened form of Yankee; English-speaking countries outside the United States may use it as a derogatory term for Americans.
designating or pertaining to an Asian person, in reference to those who have a yellowish skin color.
disparaging term for a Jew, although it is an endonym among Yiddish-speaking Jews. Used in Britain to describe Tottenham Hotspur fans (often proudly by themselves, for example calling themselves “the Yid Army”), which include a large Jewish supporting base from north-east London.
used by white nationalists to describe an Aryan who is subservient to the Jews (“Zog”=Zionist Occupation Government).
an Asian person. Used by American military personnel during the Korean War and Vietnam War. Also seen in the films Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Gran Torino. The phrase “zips in the wire” from Platoon has also been used outside of this context.