List of ethnic slurs

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The following is a list of ethnic slurs or ethnophaulisms or ethnic epithets that are, or have been, used as insinuations or allegations about members of a given ethnicity or racial group or to refer to them in a derogatory (that is, critical or disrespectful), pejorative (disapproving or contemptuous), or otherwise insulting manner.

Some of the terms listed below (such as "Gringo", "Yank", etc.) can be used in casual speech without any intention of causing offense. The connotation of a term and prevalence of its use as a pejorative or neutral descriptor varies over time and by geography.

For the purposes of this list, an ethnic slur is a term designed to insult others 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 as a racial epithet by combining a general-purpose insult with the name of ethnicity, such as "dirty Jew", "Russian pig", etc. Other common insulting modifiers include "dog", "filthy", etc. However, such terms are not included in this list.


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Abbie, Abe, Abie North America Jewish men Originated before the 1950s. From the proper name Abraham. [1]
ABC East Asia American-born Chinese, Han or other Chinese (including Taiwanese) born and raised in the United States. The term implies an otherness or lack of connection to their Chinese identity and (usually) Chinese language; however, it has been reappropriated by many Chinese Americans and used to convey positive connotations. [2]
ABCD South Asians in the US American-Born Confused Desi, Indian Americans or other South Asian Americans, (desi) who were born in the United States. Used chiefly by South Asian immigrants to imply confusion about cultural identity [3]
Abid/Abeed (plural) Middle East and North Africa Black African people Arabic for slave, associated with the Arab slave trade [4][5]
Abo/Abbo Australia Australian Aboriginal person Originally, this was simply an informal term for Aborigine, and was in fact used by Aboriginal people themselves (such as in the Aboriginal-run newspaper Abo Call) until it started to be considered offensive in the 1950s. Although Abo is still considered quite offensive by many, the pejorative boong is now more commonly used when the intent is deliberately to offend, as that word's status as an insult is unequivocal. [6]
Afro engineering, African engineering, Colored engineering or nigger rigging United States Black American people Shoddy, second-rate or unconventional, makeshift workmanship. Indirectly refers to black American people as worse or lower-valued than white American people when associating anything bad with them. [7][8]
Ah Chah Hong Kong South Asian people From 阿差; Cantonese Yale: achā; from "acchā" meaning "good" or "OK" in Hindi. [9]
Ali Baba United States Iraqi people An Iraqi suspected of criminal activity. [10]
Alligator bait / Gator bait United States (More commonly used in states where alligators are found, particularly Florida.) Black people, especially black children First used in the early 20th century, although some hypothesize the term originated in the late 19th century. The term derives from the fact that, during the slave trade, black children and babies were supposedly used as bait by whites in the US to catch alligators. [11][12]
Alpine Serb Serbo-Croatian: Alpski Srbin (ex-Yugoslavia) People of Slovenian origin. [13]
Ang mo Malaysia, Singapore European people, especially Dutch people Hokkien for "red hair" referring to Dutch people from the 17th century and expanded to white people by the 19th century, it has become a neutral term, though is sometimes seen as derogatory. [14]
Ann North America White women, "White-acting" black women While Miss Ann, also just plain Ann, is a derisive reference to white women, it is also applied to any black woman who is deemed to be acting as though she is white. [15][16]
Annamite, mites French, English Vietnamese people [17][18][19]
Ape United States Black people Referring to outdated theories ascribing cultural differences between ethnic groups as being linked to their evolutionary distance from chimpanzees, with which humans share common ancestry. [20][21]
Apple North America Native Americans First used in the 1970s. Someone who is "red on the outside, white on the inside". Used primarily by other Native Americans to indicate someone who has lost touch with their cultural identity. [22]
Arabush / Aravush (ערבוש) Israel Arabian people Arabs, derived from Hebrew "Aravi" (Arab) which is itself inoffensive. [23]
Argie/Argies (plural) United Kingdom Argentine people Extensively used by the British soldiers during the Falklands War in 1982. It is also the name of an Argentine punk rock band. [24]
Armo United States Armenian/Armenian American Especially used in Southern California. [25][26]
Aseng Indonesia Non-Indonesian people, especially Chinese people Insult to non-Indonesian citizen, from "[orang] asing" (foreigner) that rhymed with "Aseng" (Chinese name). This word is often directed at Chinese people due to Indonesia's relationship with the PRC. [27]
Ashke-Nazi (אשכנאצי) Israel Ashkenazi Jews Pronounced like "AshkeNatzi". Used mostly by Mizrachi Jews. [28][29][30]
Aunt Jemima/Aunt Jane/Aunt Mary/Aunt Sally United States Black women A black woman who "kisses up" to whites, a "sellout", female counterpart of Uncle Tom. [31]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Bamboula France Black people [32]
Balija Turkey Bosnian people An ethnic Bosniak or a member of the Bosnian diaspora. [33][34]
Banana North America Asian people "Yellow on the outside, white on the inside". Used primarily by East or Southeast Asians for other East- or Southeast Asians or Asian American who are perceived as assimilated into mainstream American culture. Similar to Apple. [35][36]
Barbarian Greece Non-Greek people Someone who is perceived to be either uncivilized or primitive. βάρβαρος (barbaros pl. βάρβαροι barbaroi). In Ancient Greece, the Greeks used the term towards those who did not speak Greek and follow classical Greek customs. [37]
Beaner / Beaney United States People of Mexican descent or, more specifically, mestizos of Central American descent. The term originates from the use of frijoles pintos and other beans in Mexican food. [38][39][40]
Bluegum United States African Americans An African American perceived as being lazy and unwilling to work. [41]
Boche / bosche / bosch France; United States; United Kingdom German people Shortened from the French term caboche dure, meaning "hard head" or "stubborn"). [42]
Boeotian Athenians Boeotian Greek people Referring to the supposed stupidity of the inhabitants of the neighboring Boeotia region of Greece. [43]
Boerehater / Boer-hater / Boer hater South Africa; United Kingdom British people Refers to a person who hates, prejudices, or criticizes the Boers, or Afrikaners – historically applied to British people who held anti-Boers sentiments. [44][45][46]
Bog / Bogtrotter / Bog-trotter United Kingdom, Ireland, United States Irish people A person of common or low-class Irish ancestry. [47][48]
Bohunk North America Bohemian people A lower-class immigrant of Central, Eastern, or Southeastern European descent. Originally referred to those of Bohemian (now Czech Republic) descent. It was commonly used toward Central European immigrants during the early 20th century. Probably from Bohemian + a distortion of Hungarian. See also hunky. [49]
Bong India Bengali people [50]
Boong / bong / bung Australia Australian Aboriginals [First used in 1847 by JD Lang, Cooksland, 430]. 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]". The (Oxford) Australian National Dictionary gives its origin in the Wemba word for "man" or "human being". [51][52][53][54]
Boonga / boong / bunga / boonie New Zealand Pacific Islanders Likely derived from the similar Australian slur. [55][56]
Bootlip United States African American [57]
Bougnoule France Arabian people [58]
Bounty bar United Kingdom Black people A racially black person who is considered to be behaving like a white person (i.e. dark on the outside, white on the inside). [59]
Bozgor Romania Hungarian people Used especially on ones born in Romania. Possibly derived from the Moldavian Csángó dialect pronunciation of bocskor meaning Opanak, a type of rustic footwear. [60]
Brownie United States Brown-skinned people Used in the 1940s–1950s [61]
Buddhahead United States Asian people. Also used by mainland Japanese Americans to refer to Hawaiian Japanese Americans since World War II. [62][63]
Buckra, Bakra United States, West Indies White people from Sub-Saharan African languages [64]
Bule Indonesia White people or foreigner Derived from an archaic Indonesian word for albino. [65]
Burrhead / Burr-head / Burr head United States Black people referencing Afro-textured hair [66]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Cabbage Eater German and Russian people [67][68]
Camel Jockey Middle Eastern people [69]
Carcamano Brazil Italian people Used during the early 20th century, during the Second wave of Italian immigration to Brazil. [70]
Chankoro Japan Chinese people Japanese: チャンコロ, a Japanese reference to a Chinese person. [71]
Charlie United States White Americans Used in the 1960s–1970s. White people as a reified collective oppressor group, similar to The Man or The System. [72]
United States Vietnamese people Vietnam War 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. The (regular) North Vietnamese Army was referred to as "Mr. Charles". [73][74][75]
Chee-chee, Chi-chi South Asia Eurasian Mixed-race people, especially Anglo-Indians Probably derived from Hindi chi-chi fie!, literally, dirt. [76]
Cheesehead Dutch people or Wisconsinites. [77][78]
Cheese-eating surrender monkey United Kingdom, United States French people From the defeat of the French by the Germans in 1940, and the huge variety of cheeses originating from France. Gained popularity after the term was used on an episode of The Simpsons. [79]
Chefur (čefur) Slovenia Non-Slovenian people of former Yugoslavia (Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Montenegrins, Macedonians) [80]
Tsekwa / Chekwa Philippines Chinese Filipino people Used in Filipino/Tagalog and other Philippine languages, which derived it from the late 19th century Cebuano Bisaya street children's limerick, Cebuano: Intsik, wákang, káun, kalibang!, lit.'Chinese (laborer), I work, eat, and shit!', where "Intsik"/"Insik" is derived from the Philippine Hokkien term, Chinese: 𪜶; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: in chek; lit. 'his/her/their uncle', while "wakang"/"gwakang" is derived from the Philippine Hokkien term, Chinese: ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: góa kang; lit. 'I work', while "kaon"/"kaun" is from the Cebuano Bisaya term, Cebuano: kaon, lit.'to eat', while "kalibang" is from the Cebuano Bisaya term, Cebuano: kalibang, lit.'to defecate'. [81][82]
Chernozhopy Russia Indigenous people from the Caucasus, e.g. from Chechnya or Azerbaijan. черножопый, or chornaya zhopa, meaning "black-arse" in Russian. [83][84][85]
Chilote Argentina Chilean people [86]
Chinaman North America Chinese people A calque of the Chinese 中國人. It was used in the gold rush and railway-construction eras in western North America when discrimination against the Chinese was common. [87]
Ching Chong United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, India Chinese people Mocking the language of or a person of perceived Chinese descent. [88]
Chink United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, India Chinese people [89]
Chinky Mainland India Northeast Indian people The sound "chin" refers to China. The slur refers to the shared facial features of Northeast Indians and ethnically Chinese peoples. [90][91]
Chonky Asian people Refers to a person of Asian heritage with "white attributes", in either personality or appearance. [92]
Christ-killer Jewish people An allusion to Jewish deicide. [93][94]
Choc-ice Black people A person who is figuratively 'black on the outside, white on the inside'. [95][96]
Cholo Latin America, Southwestern United States Indigenous or Mestizo people It may be derogatory depending on circumstances. [97][98][99][100]
Chug Canada Canadian aboriginal people See Chugach for the native people. [101]
Chukhna Russia Finnic people [102][103]
Churka Russia Western and Central Asians чурка slur for Central Asians and indigenous people of Caucasus. [84]
Ciapaty, ciapak Poland Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian, and Caucasian people. Derived from chapati. [104][105]
Cioară Romania Romani people and Black people Means crow [106]
Cina/Cokin Indonesia Chinese people Use in media has been banned since 2014 under Keppres no. 12/2014, replaced by Tiongkok (from Zhongguo 中国) or Tionghoa (from Zhonghua 中华). The President Decision (Keppres) even bans use of "China" in media and formal use. [107][108]
Coconut United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia Hispanics/Latinos, South/Southeast Asians Named after the coconut, in the American sense, it derives from the fact that a coconut is brown on the outside and white on the inside. A person of Hispanic/Latino or South/Southeast Asian descent who is seen as being assimilated into white American culture. [35][109][36]
South Asians A brown person of South Asian descent is perceived as fully assimilated into Western culture. [110][111][112]
Pacific Islander [113]
Coolie North America Asian people, usually Chinese, and Indo-Caribbean people Unskilled Asian laborer (originally used in the 19th century for Chinese railroad laborers). Possibly from Mandarin "苦力" ku li or Hindi kuli, "day laborer." Also racial epithet for Indo-Caribbean people, especially in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and South African Indians. [114][115]
Coon United States, Commonwealth Black people Possibly from Portuguese barracão or Spanish barracón, a large building constructed to hold merchandise, where slaves were kept for sale, anglicised to barracoon (1837). Popularized by the song "Zip Coon", played at Minstrel shows in the 1830s. [116][117][118]
Australia Aboriginal Australian [119]
New Zealand Pacific Islander [119]
Coonass, Coon-ass United States Cajun people Not to be confused with the French connasse, meaning cunt. [120]
Cracker United States White people, especially poor Appalachian and Southern people First used in the 19th century. It is sometimes used specifically to refer to a native of Florida or Georgia. Also used in a more general sense in North America to refer to white people disparagingly. [121][122]
Crow United States Black people [123]
Crucco Italy German people The name was firstly given during the First World War to the troops of the Austro-Hungarian Army of Croatian and Slovenian ethnicity. Later the term was used to indicate the Germans. [124]
Curry-muncher Australia, Africa, New Zealand, North America South Asian People [125]
Cushi, Kushi (כושי) Israel Dark-skinned people Term originated from Kushite, referring to an individual from the Ancient Kingdom of Kush. This was also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible generally used to refer to people usually of African descent. Originally merely descriptive, in present-day Israel it increasingly assumed a pejorative connotation and is regarded as insulting by Ethiopian Israelis; and by non-Jewish, Sub-Saharan African migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel. [126]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Dago, Dego United States, Commonwealth Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese people Possibly derived from the Spanish name "Diego" [127]
United States Italian people [128]
Dal Khor Urdu-speaking people Indians and Pakistanis (specifically Punjabis) The term literally translates to "dal eater", connoting the supposedly higher emphasis on pulses and vegetables in the diet of countryside Punjabis. [129]
Darky / darkey / darkie Black people According to lexicographer Richard A. Spears, the word "darkie" used to be considered mild and polite, before it took on a derogatory and provocative meaning. [130][131]
Dhoti Nepal Indian or Madheshi people As reference to their indigenous clothing Dhoti worn by people of Indian subcontinent. [132]
Dink United States Southeast Asian, particularly Vietnamese people. Origin: 1965–70, Americanism. Also used as a disparaging term for a North Vietnamese soldier or guerrilla in the Vietnam War. [133]
Dogan, dogun Canada Irish Catholics [19th century on; origin uncertain: perhaps from Dugan, an Irish surname]. [134]
Dothead, Dot South Asians In reference to the bindi. [135][136]
Dune coon United States Arabian people equivalent of sand nigger (below). [137][138]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Eight ball, 8ball Black people Referring to the black ball in pool. Slang, usually used disparagingly [139]
Eyetie United States, United Kingdom Italian people Originated through the mispronunciation of "Italian" as "Eye-talian". Slang usually used disparagingly (especially during World War II). [140][141][142]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Fenian Northern Ireland, Scotland Irish Catholics Derived from the Fenian Brotherhood. [143]
Feuj (verlan for juif) France Jewish people [144]
Fjellabe Denmark Norwegian people Means mountain ape. Jocularly used by Danes mostly in sports. From the 1950s. Norway is mountainous while Denmark is flat without mountains. [145]
Flip United States Filipino people [146]
Fritz, fricc, Fryc, фриц, fricis United Kingdom, France, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Latvia German people from Friedrich (Frederick). [147][148]
Frog, Froggy, Frogeater Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States Dutch people (formerly)
French and French Canadian people (currently)
Before the 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 was transferred to them, because of the French penchant for eating frogs' legs (see comparable French term Rosbif). [149][150]
Fuzzy-Wuzzy United Kingdom Hadendoa people Term used to refer to the Hadendoa warriors in the 19th century, in reference to their elaborate hairstyles. Not applicable in Australia, see Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. [151]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Gabacho Spain French people [152]
Gaijin (外人) Japan Non-Japanese people[clarification needed] [153]
Galla Ethiopia Oromo people or others in Ethiopia and Somalia Used since 1670 [154][155]
Gans (Ганс) USSR German people, or more uncommonly Latvian people The term originated among the Soviet troops in World War II, coming from Russified form of the German first name Hans. At the end and after the World War II the term was also applied by Russians to Latvians as a way of equating them to Germans since from 1943 to 1945, during the Nazi occupation of Latvia, nearly 100,000 Latvians were mobilised in the Latvian Legion and fought the Soviets alongside Germans. [156][157][158]
Garoi Romania Romani people It means crow. [159]
Gin Australia Aboriginal woman Moore (2004), "gin"
Gin jockey Australia White people A white person having casual sex with an Aboriginal woman. [160]
Godon France English people An antiquated pejorative expression. Possibly a corruption of "God-damn". [161][162]
Golliwog United States, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand Darkskinned people, especially African-Caribbeans An expression which originally was a children's literature character and type of black doll but which eventually came to be used as a jibe against people with dark skin. [163]
Gook, Gook-eye, Gooky United States East and Southeast Asians, but particularly Koreans The earliest recorded example is dated 1920. Used especially for enemy soldiers. Its use has been traced to United States Marines serving in the Philippines in the early 20th century. It gained widespread notice as a result of the Korean and Vietnam wars. [164][165][166]
Goombah United States Italian people, Italian-Americans Initially applied to Italian or Italian-American men in general, it now also specifically carries connotations of stereotypical vulgar machismo and Italian Mafia or Italian-American Mafia involvement among ethnic Italians and Italian-Americans. However, "goombah" is also used among Italian-Americans themselves to refer to a friend or comrade; the word becomes pejorative mostly when used by a non-Italian to refer to an ethnic Italian or Italian-American in a derogatory or patronizing way rather than as a friendly term of address among Italian-Americans. Originates from the Southern Italian word cumpa or cumpari and the Standard Italian equivalent, compare, meaning "godfather". [167]
Gora India Europeans and other light-skinned people The word “gora” simply means a person of European descent or other light skinned person in Hindi and other Indo-Aryan languages. However, it is often used as an insult to white people, with “gori” being used to refer to a white woman. [168]
Goy, Goyim, Goyum Hebrew Non-Jewish people A Hebrew biblical term for "Nation" or "People". By Roman times it had also acquired the meaning of "non-Jew". In English, use may be benign, to refer to anyone who isn't Jewish, or controversial, as it can have pejorative connotations. [169][170]
Grago, Gragok (shrimp) Eurasians, Kristang people A term for Eurasians, and specifically for the Kristang people of Malaysia, many of whom were traditionally engaged in shrimp fishing. It often has pejorative connotations, especially when used by outsiders, though in recent generations members of the community have to some degree tried to reclaim the term. [171]
Greaseball, Greaser United States Mediterranean/Southern European and Hispanic people, and especially Italian people. "Greaser" has taken on a less derogatory connotation since the 1950s. [172]
Gringo Spanish speakers, mostly Latin America English speakers Sometimes used by Latino Americans. In Mexico, the term means an American. Likely from the Spanish word "griego", meaning Greek (similar to the English expression "It's all Greek to me"). [173][174][175][176]
Brazil Foreigners A colloquial neutral term for any foreigner, regardless of race, ethnicity or origin (including Portuguese people), or for a person whose native language is not Portuguese (including people whose native language is Spanish). [177][178][179][180]
Groid United States Black people Derived from "negroid". [181]
Gub, Gubba Australia White people Aboriginal term for white people [182]
Guizi (鬼子) Mainland China, Taiwan Non-Chinese Basically the same meaning as the term gweilo used in Hong Kong. More often used when referring foreigners as military enemies, such as riben guizi (日本鬼子, Japanese devils, because of Second Sino-Japanese War), meiguo guizi (美国鬼子, American devils, because of Korean War).
Guido, Guidette United States Italian Americans Derives from the Italian given name, Guido. Guidette is the female counterpart. Used mostly in the Northeastern United States as a stereotype for working-class urban Italian Americans. [183][184]
Guinea, Ginzo Italian people Most likely derived from "Guinea Negro", implying that Italians are dark or swarthy-skinned the natives of Guinea. The diminutive "Ginzo" probably dates back to World War II and is derived from Australian slang picked up by United States servicemen in the Pacific Theater. [185]
Gweilo, gwailo, kwai lo (鬼佬) Southern Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau White men 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. [186]
Gwer North Africa White people [187]
Gyopo, Kyopo (교포) Korea Estranged Korean people Literally "sojourner". A Korean who was born or raised overseas, particularly the United States. (see also banana in this page) [188]
Gypsy, Gyppo, gippo, gypo, gyppie, gyppy, gipp United Kingdom, Australia Egyptian people and Romani people Derived from "Egyptian", Egypt being mistakenly considered these people's origin. [189]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Hairyback South Africa Afrikaners [190]
Hajji, Hadji, Haji United States Military Iraqis, Arabs, Afghans, or Middle Eastern and South Asian people Derived from the honorific Al-Hajji, the title given to a Muslim who has completed the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). [191]
Half-breed Multi-ethnic people Métis is a French term, also used in Canadian English, for a half-breed, and mestizo is the equivalent in Spanish, although these are not offensive per se.
Half-caste England, Australia Mixed race (usually between Australian Aboriginal and White people in Australian parlance) Originally used as a legal and social term.
Haole United States, Hawaiian Non-Hawaiian people, almost always white people. Can be used neutrally, dependent on context. [192]
Heeb, Hebe United States Jewish people Derived from the word "Hebrew." [193][194]
Hike United States Italian immigrants Sometimes used with or to distinguish from "Hunk" ("Hunky"). [195][196]
Hillbilly United States Appalachian or Ozark Americans [197]
Honky, honkey, honkie United States White people 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. [198][unreliable source?]
New Zealand European New Zealanders Used by Māori to refer to New Zealanders of European descent. [199]
Hori New Zealand Māori From the formerly common Maorified version of the English name George. [200]
Hun United States, United Kingdom German people (United States, United Kingdom) 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. [201]
Ireland Protestants and British soldiers A Protestant in Northern Ireland or historically, a member of the British military in Ireland ("Britannia's huns"). [202][203]
Hunky, Hunk United States Central European laborers. It originated in the coal regions of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where Poles and other immigrants from Central Europe (Hungarians (Magyar), Rusyns, Slovaks) came to perform hard manual labor in the mines. [204][196]
Hymie United States Jewish people 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. Has also been spelled "Heimie", as a reflection of popular Jewish last names ending in -heim. [205]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Ikey / ike / iky: a Jew [from Isaac] Jewish people Derived from the name Isaac, an important figure in Hebrew culture. [206]
Ikey-mo / ikeymo Jewish people Derived from the names Isaac and Moses, two important figures in Hebrew culture. [207]
Indon Malaysia, Singapore Indonesian people [208][209]
Indognesial / Indonesial Malaysia Indonesian people Which similar to "Indon" term mixed with "Dog" and "Sial" (Malay word for "Damn"). [210]
Intsik Philippines Chinese Filipino people Used in Filipino/Tagalog and other Philippine languages. Based on the Philippine Hokkien term, Chinese: 𪜶; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: in chek; lit. 'his/her/their uncle'. [81]
Inyenzi Rwanda Tutsi people A person of the Tutsi ethnic group in Africa. Literally means "Cockroach" and reportedly derives from how Tutsi rebels would attack at night and retreat, being hard to kill, like a cockroach. Most notably came to worldwide prominence around the time of the Rwanda genocide, as it was used by the RTLM in order to incite genocide. [211][212][213]
Injun United States Native Americans Corruption of "Indian" [214]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Jakun Malaysia Unsophisticated people, from the Malay name of an indigenous ethnic group.
Japa Brazil Japanese people Usually an affectionate way of referring to Japanese people (or, more generally, East Asian people), although it may be considered a slur. This term is never censored (as a slur typically would be) when it appears in mass media. [215]
Jap United States Japanese people Mostly found use during World War II, post-WWII.
Jewish women Usually written in all capital letters as an acronym for "Jewish-American princess," a stereotype of certain Jewish American females as materialistic or pampered.
Japie, yarpie White, rural South Africans derived from plaasjapie, "farm boy" [216]
Jerry Commonwealth German people, especially soldiers Probably an alteration of "German." Origin of Jerry can. Used especially during World War I and World War II. [217]
Jewboy United States, United Kingdom Jewish boys Originally directed at young Jewish boys who sold counterfeit coins in 18th century London [218][219]
Jigaboo, jiggabo, jigarooni, jijjiboo, zigabo, jig, jigg, jigger United States Black people with stereotypical black features (e.g., dark skin, wide nose, and big lips). From a Bantu verb tshikabo, meaning "they bow the head docilely," indicating meek or servile individuals. [220][221][222]
Jidan Romania Jewish person. [223]
Jim Crow United States Black people [224]
Jjokbari Korea Japanese People [225]
Jock, jocky, jockie United Kingdom Scottish people Scots language nickname for the personal name John, cognate to the English, Jack. Occasionally used 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. In Ian Rankin's detective novel Tooth and Nail the protagonist – a Scottish detective loaned to the London police – suffers from prejudice by English colleagues who frequently use "Jock" and "Jockland" (Scotland) as terms of insult; the book was based on the author's own experience as a Scot living in London. [226]
Jungle bunny United States, Commonwealth Black people [227]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Kaew Northeastern Thailand Vietnamese people [228][229]
Kaffir, kaffer, kaffir, kafir, kaffre, kuffar Arabian Peninsula Non-Muslims (regardless of race). also caffer or caffre. from Arabic kafir meaning "disbeliever". [230][231]
South Africa Black people [232][233]
Members of a people inhabiting the Hindu Kush mountains of north-east Afghanistan
Kaffir boetie Afrikaans "Kaffir brothers," Black sympathizers during apartheid
Kalar Burmese Muslim citizens who are "black-skinned" or "undesirable aliens." [234]
Kalia, Kalu, Kallu Hindi Darkskinned people Literally means blackie generally used for black skinned people in India, can also have racist overtone when referring to Africans [235][236]
Kanaka Australia Pacific Islanders [237][238]
Kanake German Turkish people To some extent re-appropriated
Kano Philippines Western Foreigners, most especially Americans Usually used in Filipino (Tagalog) or other Philippine languages. Shortened from the Filipino word "Amerikano". It usually refers to Americans, especially a stereotypical male white american, which may extend to western foreigners that may fit the stereotype which the speaker is not familiar with, especially those from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc. [239]
Katsap or kacap or kacapas Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania Russian people Ukrainian: кацап, Lithuanian: kacapas
Kaouiche, Kawish Canadian French Native Americans [240][241]
Kebab Muslims, usually of Arabian or Turkic descent.
Keko Turkey Kurdish men Originally neutral Kurdish word meaning man, pal, or friend, but became derogatory among Turkish speakers. [242]
Keling India Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians In Indonesian, the term can be applied to any person with dark complexion, not only Southern Indian descents, but also to native Indonesians with darker complexion and Africans. The term is derived the ancient Indian kingdom of Kalinga, where many immigrants to countries further east originated. [243]
Kharkhuwa India Assamese people
Khokhol Russia Ukrainian people Derived from a term for a traditional Cossack-style haircut. [244]
Kike or kyke: United States Ashkenazi Jewish people Possibly from kikel, Yiddish for "circle". Immigrant Jews who couldn't read English often signed legal documents with an "O" (similar to an "X", to which Jews objected because "X" also symbolizes a cross). [245]
Kimchi Korean people [246]
Kıro Turkey Kurdish men A word used to describe rude and hairy men, pejoratively refers to the Kurds. [247]
Knacker Ireland Irish Travelers [248][249]
Kolorad Ukraine Russian people In reference to Russian St. George ribbon whose coloration resembles the stripes of the Colorado beetle. [250]
Kraut North America, Commonwealth German people Derived from sauerkraut, used most specifically during World War II. [251]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Labas RU Lithuanian people Derived from Lithuanian greetings, labas rytas/laba diena/labas vakaras ("good morning/day/evening") [252]
Laowai 老外 China Foreigners literally means "old foreign".
Lapp Scandinavia Sámi people Used mainly by Norwegians and Swedes. The word itself means "patch." Also used is "Lapland", considered non-offensive, to refer to Sámi territory known as "Sámpi" or when referring to the actual name of Finlands northernmost county. [253]
Lebo, Leb Australia A Lebanese person, usually a Lebanese Australian. [254]
Limey United States, Netherlands[citation needed] British people Comes from the historical British naval practice of giving sailors limes to stave off scurvy. [255]
Locust (蝗蟲) Hong Kong Mainland Chinese people [256]
Londo Indonesia White people Commonly used by Javanese people. Derived from "Belanda" (Netherlands). [257]
Lubra Australian Aboriginal Women [258]
Lugan Lithuanian people [259][260]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Mabuno/Mahbuno Zimbabwe Local European people held in contempt, commonly White Africans of European ancestry. [261]
Macaronar Romania Italian people Roughly means "macaroni eater/maker". [262]
Mayonnaise Monkey United States White people A term commonly used by black people. A person with a "mayonnaise" complexion. [263]
Macaca Europe African people Originally used by francophone colonists in North Africa, also used in Europe against Immigrants from Africa. [264][265]
Majus (مجوس) Arabian Peninsula Persian people A term meaning Zoroastrian, Magi, fire worshipper.
Malakh-khor (ملخ خور) Persia Arabian people Meaning "locust eater," referring to the eating of locusts in Arab cuisine. [266][267][268][269][270][271]
Malaun Bangladesh Hindus [272]
Malon Indonesia Malaysian people Used as the reply to Indon word. Malon is (mostly) a short for "Malaysia Bloon" (dumb Malaysians). [273]
Malingsia / Malingsial / Malingsialan Indonesia Malaysians means "Malaysian thief / damned thief," is a slang for Malaysians. Originally combined from 2 words, "maling" (Javanese, meaning "thief") and "Malaysia." The Indonesian people used it because of the continuous claims of Indonesian cultures by Malaysia. [274]
Mangal / Mango / Mangasar / Mangusta Bulgaria Romani people From Bulgarian "мангал" (mangal) - a type of pot. Some variants are derived from the similar-sounding loanwords "манго" (mango) - mango and "мангуста" (mangusta) - mongoose. [275][276][277]
Marokaki (מרוקקי) Israel Moroccan Jewish people Derived from "Maroko" (Hebrew pronunciation for "Morocco") + "Kaki" (which means "shit", "crap" in Hebrew slang). [278]
Mau-Mau United States Black people Originally referred to Kenyans of the Kikuyu tribe involved in the Mau Mau Rebellion in the 1950s. [279]
Mayate/Mayatero Black people Literally the Spanish colloquial name of the Figeater beetle. [280]
Meleis Malaysia Malay people [281]
Mick Irish people [282]
Mocro Dutch Dutch-Moroccan people [283]
Mof (singular)
Moffen (plural)
Dutch German people [284]
Momo/Momos India Northeast Indians Used on those that imply they are Chinese foreigners. [90]
Moskal, Ukrainian: москаль, Polish: moskal, Russian: москаль, German: moskowiter Ukraine, Belarus Russians Historically a neutral designation for a person from Muscovy, currently refers to Russians. [285]
Mountain Turk Turkey Kurdish people Former Turkish governments denied the Kurds their own ethnicity, calling them Mountain Turks (dağ Türkleri). Germans also used this word to describe Albanians, now it refers to the earlier. [286][287]
Mulignan/Mulignon/Moolinyan United States Black people Used by Italian-Americans. Deriving from "mulignana" the word for eggplant in some South Italian linguistic variants.[288] Also called a mouli. [289][290][291]
Munt Rhodesia, originally military Black people, usually men. [292]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Nawar Arabian Peninsula Romani people Arab term for Romani people and other groups sharing an itinerant lifestyle.
Neftenya / Neftegna / Naftenya / Naftegna Ethiopia/Amharic Amhara people Literally means "rifle-bearer", relates to 19th century Ethiopian history. Since 1975, used as inflammatory term by Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF, governing party) officials against Amharas; continued inflammatory/derogatory usage in 2020 online media two years after EPRDF loss of political power. [293][294][295]
Nere Bengali Hindus Muslims [296]
Niakoué France East or Southeast Asian people A corrupted Vietnamese word with similar to "yokel", "country bumpkin", etc. [297]
Niglet Black children [298]
Nig-nog or Nignog Commonwealth Black people Originally used to refer to a novice–a foolish or naive person– before being associated with black people. [299][300]
Nigger / niger / nig / nigor / nigra / nigre (Caribbean) / nigar / niggur / nigga / niggah / niggar / nigguh / niggress / nigette / negro / neger (Dutch) International/Worldwide Black people From the Spanish and Portuguese word negro ("black"), derived from the Latin niger. The Spanish or Portuguese term, or other such languages deriving the term from it such as Filipino, may vary in its connotation per country, where some countries, the connotation may range from either positive, neutral, or negative, depending on context. For example, in Spanish and Portuguese, it may simply refer to the color black. Among Spanish dialects in different countries, it may have either positive or negative connotations, such as describing someone similarly to my darling or my honey in Argentina, or describing someone to be angry in Spain.
Nigger toe United States Black people A slur that is actually referring to a Brazil nut [301]
Nip United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom Japanese people someone of Japanese descent (shortened version of Nipponese, from Japanese name for Japan, Nippon) [302]
Nitchie / neche / neechee / neejee / nichi / nichiwa / nidge / nitchee / nitchy Canada Native Canadians a Native American (from the Algonquian word for "friend") [303]
Non-pri, from Non-Pribumi Indonesia Indonesians of foreign descent, especially Chinese Indonesians The term pribumi was coined after Indonesian independence to replace the derogatory Dutch term Inlander ("native"). "Non-pribumi," often simply "non-pri," was then used to refer to Indonesians of foreign descent and was generally considered to suggest that they were not full citizens. Use of both "pribumi" and "non-pribumi" by government departments was banned by President B.J. Habibie in 1998 according to Inpres (Instruksi Presiden, lit. President's Instruction) 26/1998, along with instruction to stop discrimination by race in government. [304]
Northern Monkey United Kingdom Northern English people Used in the south of England, relating to the supposed stupidity and lack of sophistication of those in the north of the country. See also Southern Faerie. In some cases, this has been adopted in the north of England, with a pub in Leeds even taking the name "The Northern Monkey". [305][306]
Nusayri Syria and the Levant Members of the Alawite sect of Shi'a Islam. Once a common and neutral term derived from the name of Ibn Nusayr, the sect's founder, it fell out of favour within the community in the early decades of the 20th century due to the perception that it implied a heretical separateness from mainstream Islam. Resurgent in the context of the ongoing Syrian Civil War, the term is now often employed by Sunni fundamentalist enemies of the government of Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite, to suggest that the faith is a human invention lacking divine legitimacy. [307][308]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Ofay African American Vernacular White people Originates from the late 19th century. [309]
Oláh Hungarian-speaking territories Romanian people Evolved to a pejorative term, originates from the historical designation of Romanians earlier the 19th century [310]
Oreo United States Black people Used as early as the 1960s. Refers to a black person who is perceived as acting white, and therefore black on the outside and white on the inside like an Oreo cookie. [311][312][313]
Oven Dodger Jewish people Implying that one or one's ancestors avoided dying in the Holocaust and so avoid the crematorium ovens. [314]
Overner United Kingdom, Isle of Wight Mainland United Kingdom Residents a term used by residents of the Isle of Wight, sometimes pejoratively, to refer to people from the mainland United Kingdom. [315]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Paddy United Kingdom Irish people Derived from Pádraig/Patrick. Often derogatory; however, Lord Edward FitzGerald, a major leader of the United Irishmen of 1798, was proclaimed by his Sister proudly "a Paddy and no more" and stated that "he desired no other title than this." [316][317][318]
Paki, Pakkis, Pak United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Norway Pakistanis, other South Asians, and sometimes Middle Eastern people Shortened from "Pakistani." [319][320][321]
Palagi Pacific Islands White people A Samoan term for a white person, found throughout the Pacific islands. Not usually derogatory unless used in reference to a local to imply they have assimilated into Western culture. [322]
Paleface Native Americans White people [323]
Pancake Face, Pancake Asian people [324]
Pastel de flango Brazil East Asian people Used mostly to refer to people of Chinese and Japanese origin. Pastel is Portuguese for any pastry and so is used for wonton in Brazil. Flango is eye dialect of frango (Portuguese for chicken) ridiculing Asian pronunciation. [325][326][327]
Peckerwood Southern African American people and Upper-class White people Poor, rural White people [328][329]
Peenoise English-speaking Southeast Asia Filipinos Usually used in English or sometimes in Filipino (Tagalog) and other Philippine languages. Compound of pee + noise, likened to Pinoy, the colloquial diminutive demonym for Filipinos. The implication makes fun of their high-pitched voice and tendency to scream when speaking online, especially in online gaming and esports. [330]
Pepper or Pepsi Canada French Canadians or Québécois. [331][332]
Petrol sniffer Australia Aboriginal people
Pickaninny African American children [333][334]
Piefke Austria Prussians and Germans
Pikey / piky / piker United Kingdom Irish Travellers, Romani people, and vagrant lower-class/poor people Derived from "turnpike". [335]
Plastic Paddy Ireland Estranged Irish People Someone who knows little of Irish culture, but asserts their 'Irish' identity. Can refer to foreign nationals who claim Irishness based solely on having Irish relatives. Often used in the same sense as poseur and wannabe. [336][337]
Pocho / pocha Southwest United States, Mexico adjective: Term for a person of Mexican heritage who is partially or fully assimilated into United States culture (literally, "diluted, watered down (drink); undersized (clothing)"). See also "Chicano." [338]
Polack, Polak, Polock Polish or Slavic people 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. [339][340][341][342]
Polaco Spain Catalan people
Polaca Brazil Prostitute In Brazilian Portuguese the word (meaning "Polish woman") became synonymous to "prostitute" [343]
Polentone Italy Northern Italians Referring to them as a "polenta eater". [344]
Pom, Pohm, Pommy, Pommie, Pommie Grant Australia, New Zealand, South Africa British immigrants, usually English people. [345]
Porch monkey Black people referring to perceived common behavior of groups hanging out on front porches or steps of urban apartment complexes in United States cities. [346]
Porridge wog Scots [347]
Portagee United States Portuguese people [348]
Potet Norwegians [349]
Prairie nigger Native American [350]
Prod Northern Ireland Northern Irish Protestants [351]
Pshek Russian Polish males


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Quashie Caribbean Black people Often used on those who were often gullible or unsophisticated. From the West African name Kwazi, often given to a child born on a Sunday. [352][353][354][355]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Raghead Arabs, Indian Sikhs, etc. Derived from those people wearing traditional headdress such as turbans or keffiyehs. See towel head. Sometimes used generically for all Islamic nations. [356][357]
Ramasamy British-ruled Southern Africa Indians, especially the southern ones who bear darker skin tone. Ramasamy is a common South Indian name, mostly used by Tamil people. The racially-divided southern Africa was inhabited by a large number of Indentured labour from India of whom Tamils were a majority. [358][359]
Rastus United States African Americans A stereotypical term. [360]
Razakars Bengali Akin to the western term Judas. [361]
Redlegs Barbados White people Used to refer to the islands' laborer-class, given how pale skin tends to burn easily. [362]
Redskin Native Americans Often used in the names of sports teams. See Native American name controversy.
Rosuke, Roske Japanese Russians "suke/ske" is a Japanese general-purpose derogatory suffix. [363][364]
Rooinek South Africa British people Slang for a person of British descent. [365]
Roto Peru, Bolivia Chilean people Used to refer disdainfully. The term roto ("tattered") was first applied to Spanish conquerors in Chile, who were badly dressed and preferred military strength over intellect. [366]
Roundeye English-speaking Asians Non-Asians, especially White people [367]
Russki Russians, from Russian Русский Russkiy, meaning "Russian." [368]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Sambo United States African Americans or Black people [369]
Sand nigger United States Arabian people Mainly used due to the desert environment of most Arab countries. Equivalent of dune coon (above). [370][371][138]
Sassenach Scottish, Gaelic English people [372]
Sawney England Scottish people Archaic term. Local variant of Sandy, short for "Alasdair". [373]
Scandihoovian Scandinavian people living in the United States Somewhat pejorative term for people of Scandinavian descent living in the United States, now often embraced by Scandinavian descendants. [374][375][376][377]
Seppo, Septic Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom American people Cockney rhyming slang: Septic tankYank [378]
Schvartse, Schwartze Yiddish or German speakers African people Literally translates to "black". [379]
Sheboon United States Black women [380]
Sheeny United States Jewish people a 19th-century term for an "untrustworthy Jew". [381]
Sheepshagger Australia
United Kingdom
New Zealanders
Welsh people
Shelta Ireland Irish Travellers Derived from siúilta, which means "The Walkers" in Irish.
Shiksa (female), Shegetz (male) Yiddish speakers Non-Jewish children [384][385]
Shine: (United States) a black person United States Black people Derived from shoeshiner, a lowly job many black people had to take. [386]
Shiptar Former Yugoslavia Albanian people From Albanian endonymShqiptar”. [387]
Shkije Gheg Albanian Serbs, Macedonians, Montenegrins [388]
Shkutzim (Yiddish, plural) Yiddish speakers (plural) Non-Jewish men Used especially on those perceived to be anti-Semitic. Cf. Shegetz, Shiksa. [389]
Croatian: Škutor
Croatia West-Herzegovinan Croatian people [390]
Shylock Jewish people perceived as greedy or usurious From the antagonistic character of Shylock, a Jewish money-lender, in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. [391]
Sideways vagina/pussy/cooter Asian women, particularly Chinese women. [392]
Skinny United States Somali people A term most commonly used for Somali militia fighters [393]
Skopianoi Greece Ethnic Macedonians derived from Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia. [394][395]
Skip, Skippy Australia An Australian, especially one of British descent Derived from the children's television series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. [396]
Slant, slant–eye East Asian people In reference to the appearance of the eyes. [397]
Slope, slopehead, slopy, slopey, sloper Australia, United Kingdom, and United States Asian people (especially Vietnamese in Australia; especially Chinese in America) Also slant, slant–eye. [398][399][400]
Snowflake United States White people Mostly used in this context in the 19th and 20th centuries [401]
Smoked Irish/Smoked Irishman United States Black people a 19th-century term intended to insult both blacks and Irish but used primarily for black people. [352]
Soosmar-khor: (سوسمار خور) Persia Arabian people Persian for "lizard eater," referring to the eating of lizards in Arab cuisine. [402][403][404]
Sooty United States Black people Originated in the 1950s. [405]
Southern Faerie, Southern Fairy United Kingdom Southern English people Used in the North of England to refer to someone from the South, alluding to their supposed mollycoddled ways. (see also Northern Monkey) [406]
Soutpiel South Africa White English speakers an Afrikaans term abbreviated as "Soutie" and translates as "Salt-penis," it derives from the Boer Wars where it was said that British soldiers had one foot in the United Kingdom, one foot in South Africa, and their penis dangled in the Atlantic Ocean (filled with saltwater). [407]
Spade Black people Recorded since 1928 (OED), from the playing cards suit. [408]
Spearchucker Africans, African Americans Derived from the idea that people of African descent were primitive. [409]
Spic, spick, spik, spig, or spigotty United States Hispanic people First recorded use in 1915. Believed to be a play on a Spanish-accented pronunciation of the English word speak. May apply to Spanish speakers in general. [410][411][412][413][414]
Spook Black people Attested from the 1940s. [415][416]
Squarehead Nordic people, such as Scandinavians or Germans. Refers to either the stereotyped shape of their heads, or to the shape of the Stahlhelm M1916 steel helmet, or to its owner's stubbornness (like a block of wood). [417]
Squaw United States and CAN Native American women Derived from lower East Coast Algonquian (Massachusett: ussqua), which originally meant "young woman". [418][419]
Swamp Guinea Italian people [420]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Tacohead Mexican people This phrase is uttered by Willem Dafoe's character (Charlie) in the film Born on the Fourth of July. [421]
Taffy or Taff United Kingdom Welsh people First used ca. 17th century. From the River Taff or the Welsh pronunciation of the name David (in Welsh, Dafydd). [422]
Taig (also Teague, Teg and Teig) United Kingdom (primarily Northern Ireland) Irish nationalists Used by loyalists in Northern Ireland for members of the nationalist/Catholic/Gaelic community. Derived from the Irish name Tadhg, often mistransliterated as Timothy. [423][424]
Tanka China Tanka people A name for a distinct ethnic group traditionally living in boats off the shore of South China. Originally descriptive ("Tan"/"Tang" is a Cantonese term for boat or junk and "ka" means family or peoples, Chinese: 蜑家; Cantonese Yale: Daahn gā / Dahng gā), the term Tanka is now considered derogatory and no longer in common use. The people concerned prefer to call themselves by other names, such as 'Nam Hoi Yan' (Chinese: 南海人; Cantonese Yale: Nàamhóiyàn; lit. 'People of The Southern Sea') or 'Sui Seung Yan' (Chinese: 水上人; pinyin: shuǐshàng rén; Cantonese Yale: Séuiseuhngyàn; lit. 'People Born on The Waters'), and other more polite terms. [425][426][427][428][429][430][431][432][433]
Tar-Baby United States Black children Also used to refer without regard to race to a situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself. See tar baby. [434]
Teapot Black people Originates from the 19th century. [435][352]
Terrone Italy Southern Italian people.
Teuchter Southern Scotland Northern Scottish people Used to refer to somebody from the north of Scotland or rural Scottish areas. [436]
Thicklips United Kingdom Black people [352]
Tibla Estonia Russian or Soviet people In widespread use by the Estonian War of Independence, this word was forbidden under the Soviet occupation of Estonia. It may be a shortened corruption of Vitebski, workers from the Vitebsk Governorate during World War I who were seen as dumb. It may also come from the Russian profane addressing "ty, blyad," "ты, блядь" ("you bitch", and the like [a]) or, truncated, "ty, blya," "ты, бля. [437][438]
Timber nigger Native Americans Refers to the Native Americans on the East coast living in areas that were heavily forested. [439]
Timur Syrian people from Damascus Refers to the children born of the mass rapes that the Turco-Mongol Tatar soldiers of Timur committed against the Syrian women of Damascus in the Siege of Damascus (1400). [440]
Ting tong United Kingdom Chinese people or East Asians. [441]
Tinker / tynekere / tinkere / tynkere, -are / tynker / tenker / tinkar / tyncar / tinkard / tynkard / tincker Britain and Ireland Lower-class people An inconsequential person (typically lower-class) (note that in Britain, the term "Irish Tinker" may be used, giving it the same meaning as example as directly below)
Scotland and Ireland Romani people origin unknown – possibly relating to one of the 'traditional' occupations of Romanis as traveling 'tinkerers' or repairers of common household objects [442]
Scotland Native Scottish people 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," possibly derived from a reputation for rowdy and alcoholic recreation. Often confused with Romani people.
Toad United States Black people Prison slang. [443]
Towel head Turban wearers Often refers specifically to Sikhs, or Arabs and Muslims—based on the traditional keffiyeh headdress. However, in British English, the term is only used to refer to Arabs. Americans use the term 'rag-head' to apply to wearers of turbans as well, because the cloth that makes a turban could be described as a rag, but in British English the term towel-head soley refers to Arabs because the traditional, Middle Eastern keffiyeh, such as the red and white Saudi one or the black and white Palestinian keffiyeh worn by Yasser Arrafat, resemble the most common styles of British tea-towels - dishcloth in American - while Sikh turbans do not. [444][445][446][447][448][449]
Touch of the tar brush Commonwealth White people with suspected non-white ancestry Phrase for a person of predominantly Caucasian ancestry with real or suspected African or Asian distant ancestry. [when defined as?][450]
Turco-Albanian Western Europe, Balkans Muslim Albanians Historically used in Western Europe and still in use within the Balkans to refer to Muslim Albanians. In the Greek language, the expression is rendered as Turkalvanoi. [451]
Turco Brazil, Chile, Argentina Syrians, Palestinians, Lebanese, Jews, Armenians Meaning "Turk" in Portuguese and Spanish. The term originated in the late 19th century to refer those who came to Brazil, Argentina and Chile from the Ottoman Empire. Since Jews (both Sephardic and Ashkenazi) frequently occupied the same roles as peddlers as Syrians and Lebanese (who were the majority of those with Ottoman passports in Brazil), they were also called "turcos" in Brazil. Ironically, there was no relevant immigration of ethnic Turks to Brazil. [452][453][454]
Turk South Wales Llanelli residents The origin of this term is uncertain; some theories suggest it due to Llanelli's popularity with Turkish sailors in the late 19th to early 20th century or possibly when Turkish migrants heading for the United States stopped in Llanelli and decided to settle due to there being jobs available. However, most likely it's due to the fact that during World War One there was a trade embargo in place during Gallipoli, but Llanelli continued to trade tin with the Turkish; this led to people from neighbouring Swansea and other surrounding areas referring to them as Turks. [455]
Twinkie: United States European Americans, Asian Americans European Americans with few or no social or genealogical links to an indigenous tribe, who claims to be Native American, particularly a New Age practitioner purporting to be a spiritual leader, healer, or medicine man/woman (see also Plastic shaman). Also an Asian American who has become assimilated into mainstream American culture (See Banana, Coconut, and Twinkie).[36] [456][457][458]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Ukrop Russians Ukrainians A disparaging term derived literally from "dill" in fact a pun: Ukrainian<->Ukrop. [459][250]
Uncle Tom United States Black people Refers to Black people perceived as behaving in a subservient manner to white authority figures. [460]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Vatnik, Vatnyk, Vata Russians or Ukrainians with pro-Russian views. A vatnik is a cheap cotton-padded jacket.
Veneco South America Venezuelans [461]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Wagon burner Native American people A reference to when Native American tribes would attack wagon trains during the wars in the eastern American frontier. [462]
Wasi'chu, Wasichu Lakota people, Dakota people Non-Native White people Word for a non-Native white person, meaning "the one who takes the best meat for himself." [463]
West Brit Ireland Irish people Directed at Irish people perceived as being insufficiently Irish or too Anglophilic. [464][465]
Wetback United States Undocumented immigrants Refers to illegal immigrant residing in the United States. Originally applied specifically to Mexican migrant workers who had illegally crossed the United States border via the Rio Grande river to find work in the United States, its meaning has since broadened to anyone who illegally enters the United States through its southern border. [466]
White ears Nauru White people [467]
White interloper White people Refers to a white person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong. [468]
Wigger / Whigger / Wigga (White Nigger) United States Irish people Used in 19th-century United States to refer to the Irish. Sometimes used today in reference to white people in a manner similar to white trash or redneck. Also refers to white youth that imitate urban black youth by means of clothing style, mannerisms, and slang speech. Also used by radical Québécois in self-reference, as in the seminal 1968 book White Niggers of America. [469]
White trash United States Poor White people Common usage from the 1830s by black house slaves against white servants. [470]
Whitey White people [471]
Wog Commonwealth Dark-skinned foreigners any swarthy or dark-skinned foreigner. Possibly derived from "golliwogg." In Western nations, it usually refers to dark-skinned people from Asia or Africa, though some use the term to refer to anyone outside the borders of their own country. [472]
Australia Southern Europeans, Mediterraneans Usually used to refer to Southern Europeans and Mediterraneans (Italians, Croatians, Greeks, Albanians, Spaniards, Lebanese, and others). While potentially offensive, it may also be a term of endearment (such as in the 2000 movie The Wog Boy).
Wop United States, Canada, United Kingdom Italian people Derived from the Italian dialectism, "guappo," close to "dude, swaggerer" and other informal appellations, a greeting among male Neapolitans. [473][474]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Xiao Riben China Japanese people
Xing Ling Brazil Chinese people Chinese products or low-quality products in general. Sometimes used to refer to Chinese people as well. Etymologically, this term is said to be derived from Mandarin 星零 xing ling ("zero stars"). [475]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Yam yam United Kingdom Black Country residents Term used by people from Birmingham [476]
Yanacona Term used by modern Mapuche as an insult for Mapuches considered to be subservient to non-indigenous Chileans, "sellout." Use of the word "yanacona" to describe people have led legal action in Chile. [477]
Yank British English speakers Americans A contraction of "Yankee" below, first recorded in 1778 and employed internationally by speakers of British English in informal reference to all Americans generally. [478]
Yankee Dutch speakers Americans Possibly from Janke ("Johnny") or a dialectical variant of Jan Kaas ("John Cheese"). First applied by the Dutch colonists of New Amsterdam to Connecticuters and then to other residents of New England, "Yankee" remains in use in the American South in reference to Northerners, often in a mildly pejorative sense. Outside the US, especially in Spain and South America, used to describe all citizens of the US, regardless of which part of the US they come from. [478]
Yellow Asian people An East or southeast Asian person, in reference to those who have a yellowish skin color. [479]
Mixed Ethnic people Anyone of mixed heritage, especially black or white people; a light-skinned black person, or a dark-skinned white person. [479]
Yid Jewish people Derived from its use as an endonym among Yiddish-speaking Jews. [480]
Yuon Cambodia Vietnamese people The Cambodian word "Yuon" (yuôn) យួន /juən/ is derived from the Indian word for Greek, "Yavana." It can also be spelled as "Youn." [481][482]


Term Location or origin Targets Meaning, origin and notes References
Zip, Zipperhead United States Asian people Used by American military personnel during the Korean War and Vietnam War. Also seen in the films Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Premium Rush, Romeo Must Die, and Gran Torino. The phrase "zips in the wire" from Platoon has also been used outside of this context. [483][484][485]
Zhyd, zhid, zhydovka, zhidovka Slavic language speakers Jewish people Originally neutral, but became pejorative during debate over the Jewish question in the 1800s. Its use was banned by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s. [486]

See also


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Further reading

  • Burchfield, Robert. "Dictionaries and Ethnic Sensibilities." In The State of the Language, ed. Leonard Michaels and Christopher Ricks, University of California Press, 1980, pp. 15–23.
  • Croom, Adam M. "Racial Epithets: What We Say and Mean by Them". Dialogue 51 (1):34–45 (2008)
  • Henderson, Anita. "What's in a Slur?" American Speech, Volume 78, Number 1, Spring 2003, pp. 52–74 in Project MUSE
  • Kennedy, Randall. Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word (Pantheon, 2002)
  • Mencken, H. L. "Designations for Colored Folk." American Speech, 1944. 19: 161–74.
  • Wachal, Robert S. "Taboo and Not Taboo: That Is the Question." American Speech, 2002. vol. 77: 195–206.


  • Erin McKean, ed. The New Oxford American Dictionary, second edition. (Oxford University Press, 2005)
  • Eric Partridge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2002)
  • John A. Simpson, Oxford English Dictionary Additions Series. ISBN 0-19-861299-0
  • Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, ed. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary. (Oxford University Press, 2004)