Days after taking a new job, my girlfriend’s elderly coworker felt the need to tell her what she calls black walnuts. I have the suspicion she was trying to gauge her level of racism, which is a bit unsettling.
You know what else is offensive: beets!
Didn’t Slate just run an article about this? The result was, that while that word is offensive in South Africa, the name of the lime did not originate in South Africa.
Should we rename things where the word becomes offensive in one place but in no other?
My mother occasionally does this under the guise of a ‘joke’, my sister’s redneck husband finds it great fun.
They wonder why I don’t often visit.
Interesting about the Dago, didn’t realize it had a negative connotation. I’ve been to Dusty’s Bar and have tried the sandwich. The fact that it’s a cop bar and that the sandwich is terrible explains why I’ve never been back.
No matter how offensive any word might be, it absolutely pales in comparison to the fact that you can be thrown in jail for using it. That should scare the shit out of anyone that values freedom of speech.
Ridiculously, I’d been seeing that sign for years and thinking, “Man, that name sounds like it should be an outdated racist slur for people that we’ve decided are white now … like Italians or Croatians or something.”
Apparently, I am right.
Jesus H. Christ.
Don’t we have more important problems in the world than to get our panties in a bunch about people calling a lime a name that is considered “bad” thousands of miles away in a completely different culture?
Seriously. Context, people.
This is explained quite thoroughly in the linked article as well.
It’s an interesting question - “kaffir” is an offensive term in Africa, but if the term for that lime didn’t actually come from Africa, is it still offensive? Particularly outside of Africa, to non-Africans?
I wonder if Wikipedia has a list of words that are in common usage (in non-offensive ways) in one language, but are actually an offensive/slur/swear word in another? They have lists of just about every god damned thing.
Oh, and re: the “dago” thing… That’s kinda like the term “gyp” meaning to rip somebody off, and coming from the word gypsy. I used that word for YEARS, not knowing the origin of it. It’s only (relatively) recently that I learned it was offensive to Romani people.
I thought it was a slur against Spaniards, not Italians, but I don’t think anyone in the UK under the age of Alf Garnett uses it anyway.
I’d never heard of that fruit before, but that is basically like calling it a nigger lime. I assume the word is also related to kafir, which is often used as an insult.
I knew Dago was an offensive slur (growing up a reader, not because I grew up taunting a bunch of italians), and was surprised to see it around when I moved into the cities- and not as an isolated event.
What about food names that became offensive slurs - Krauts, for example?
(unrelated: While the Dago Sandwich will always make me wince, loosemeat sandwiches always make me shudder)
I didn’t realize that single and double f versions were two different insults. If I’d been asked what the word meant I’d have gone with the infidel definition.
If you value freedom of speech and would like the shit to be scared out of you, consider the relatively free right to assemble given to racist groups (which tend to have a history of violence, no less) that is systematically denied to protesters of wars and police brutality.
I was recently called out for using the term “paddy wagon”, which I was told was racist and offensive to Irish people. Being of Irish decent myself, I’d never thought about the origin of the term; I thought it was just a generic, innocent nickname for the truck used to transport criminals to jail. But it isn’t remotely offensive to me, a semi-irishman, yet non-Irish people are very offended for me.
Debate here in the Boston area goes back and forth as to whether it’s OK to call chocolate sprinkles “jimmies”. Some insist that that black people should be very offended by an outdated racist term. Others say it’s never been a racist term. These debates among white people seem to never include actual black people.
I have yet to ask a Romani whether it’s OK to say “gyp”, but I know a lot of non-Romani that are very offended by it.
I had assumed that it WAS named after the Sri Lankan people.
A friend of mine was called out in an English theatre once for talking (loudly) about her “Fanny Pack”
Oh, and the time I about flipped out when I first heard the Wil Smith song “Gettin’ jiggy wit it.”
Everything is offensive.
Focusing at these things is of course much easier than addressing real problems. Getting upset over a thing being called one way and not the other is much easier than sitting down and doing a honest analysis of some real problem. Of course it elicits an emotional response, serves as a good ad-hoc reason for a group-together and some target-bashing, and further widens the gap between those who react to this and those who don’t but could be useful in something where a real difference can be made (teaching, infrastructure building, or even just consulting).
Racist limey bastard.
That can be explained by the racist groups not being a threat to the Status Quo, whether political or economical. Such a group can perform a torch parade through a minority-heavy area and cause some local upheaval, but won’t block a military base, call attention to the international legality of drone attacks, or demand end to agricultural subsidies. Nothing that would have a wealthy campaign donor or other politico-career mechanism attached.
Disgusting. And a much bugger problem than offensive fruit that looks like a pair of bollocks on the picture. (I actually thought THAT is why it is offensive, before reading the text.)