Tag Archives: profanity

“Oriental:” Death of a Semi-Slur

While reading yesterday’s paper, I skimmed a news piece about Nina Davuluri, the first Indian-American Miss America winner. Being American, I was puzzled by the journalist’s description of Davuluri as the first “Asian-American” to win. It’s an illogical reaction on … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , | 39 Comments

Brits “Get Away With It”

I’ve recently been watching Two Fat Ladies, a late-90s cooking show in which two rambunctious women travel the British countryside cooking regional food. One of the program’s perverse joys is its hosts’ sometimes shocking commentary. Take, for instance, Clarissa Dickson Wright‘s opinion … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

A Strange Chapter in “Wog”s Hateful History

“Wog” is an offensive term in British English which refers to various immigrant groups. Its etymology is debated. One theory suggests acronymous origins, along the lines of “Worthy Oriental Gentleman” (which is less pejorative than contemporary usage would suggest). More … Continue reading


Posted in English Phonetics | Tagged , | 14 Comments