List of ethnic slurs

The following is a list of 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 (that is, critical or disrespectful), pejorative (disapproving or contemptuous), or otherwise insulting manner.

Some of the terms listed below (such as "Gringo", "Yank", etc.) are used by many people all over the world as part of their ordinary speech or thinking without any intention of causing offence.

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. Such terms are not included in this list.


Abbie, Abe, Abie
(North America) a Jewish man. From the proper name Abraham. Originated before the 1950s.[1]
(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]
(South Asians in the US) American-Born Confused Desi, Indian Americans, Pakistani Americans or other South Asians, (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) an Arabic term for slave, often used as a racial slur against black Africans and is associated with the Arab slave trade.[4]
(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 the 1950s. In more remote 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 deliberately to offend, as that word's status as an insult is unequivocal.[5]
Afro engineering, African engineering or nigger rigging
(U.S.) Shoddy, second-rate workmanship.[6]
Ali Baba
(U.S.) an Iraqi suspected of criminal activity.[7]
Alligator bait / Gator bait
(U.S.) 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.[8]
(North America) a white woman to a black person—or a black woman who acts "like a white woman". 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.[9][10]
Annamite or mites, a derogatory name for Vietnamese people. (French, English)[11][12][13]
A black person, 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.[14][15]
(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 1970s.[16]
Arabush (ערבוש)
(Israel) Arabs, derived from Hebrew "Aravi" (Arab) which is itself inoffensive.[17]
(U.S.) an Armenian/Armenian American.[18] Especially used in Southern California.[19]
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.[20]


(France) a Black person.[21]
(North America; UK; Malaysia) an East or Southeast 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 East or Southeast Asians to indicate someone who has lost touch with the cultural identity of his or her parents.[22]
Beaner / Beaney
(U.S.) people of Mexican descent or, more specifically, mestizos of Central American descent.[23][24] The term originates from the use of frijoles pintos and other beans in Mexican food.[25]
Mostly used during the French colonization of Algeria as a derogatory term to describe Algerian Muslims.[26]
(U.S.) an African American perceived as being lazy and unwilling to work.[27]
Boche / bosche / bosch
(France; U.S.; UK) a German (shortened from the French term caboche dure "hard head" or "stubborn").[28]
A term used by the Athenians, referring to the supposed stupidity of the inhabitants of the neighboring Boeotia region of Greece.[29]
Boerehater / Boer-hater / Boer hater (South Africa; UK)
a person who hates, prejudices or criticises the Boers, or Afrikaners – historically applied to British people prejudiced against the Boers.[30][31][32]
Bog Irish / Bogtrotter / Bog-trotter
(UK, Ireland, U.S.) a person of common or low-class Irish ancestry.[33][34]
(North America) a lower-class immigrant of Central 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.[35] See also hunky.
Boong / bong / bung
(Aus) Australian aboriginal.[36] 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]".[37]Highly offensive. [First used in 1847 by JD Lang, Cooksland, 430][38] The (Oxford) Australian National Dictionary gives its origin in the Wemba word for "man" or "human being".[39]
Boonga / boong / bunga / boonie
(New Zealand) a Pacific Islander [alteration of boong].[40]
an African American.[41]
(France) An Arab.[42]
Bounty bar
A racially black person who is considered to be behaving like a white person (i.e. dark on the outside, white on the inside).[43]
a Romanian insult towards Hungarians born in Romania, [44] possibly derived from the Slavic bez + Romanian ogor (meaning without a field, but in this case homeless).
(U.S.) a brown-skinned person 1940s–1950s.[45]
(U.S.) an Asian.[46] Also used by mainland Japanese Americans to refer to Hawaiian Japanese Americans since World War II.[47]
(Indonesia) a white person from an archaic Indonesian word for albino.[48]
Burrhead / Burr-head / Burr head
(U.S.) a black person (referencing Afro-textured hair).[49]


Cabbage Eater
a German or a Russian.[50][51]
Camel Jockey
people of Middle Eastern descent.[52]
Japanese: チャンコロ, a Japanese derogatory reference to a Chinese person.[53]
a. (African American, 1960s–1970s) white people as a reified collective oppressor group, similar to The Man or The System.[54]
b. (Vietnam War military slang) 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.[55] The (regular) North Vietnamese Army was referred to as "Mr. Charles".[56][57]
Chee-chee, Chi-chi
an Anglo-Indian or Eurasian mixed race person, probably from Hindi chi-chi fie!, literally, dirt.[58]
people who are Dutch.[59]
Cheese-eating surrender monkey
(UK, U.S.) a Frenchman, from the defeat of the French against 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.[60]
Chernozhopy ("black-arse")
[61] черножо́пый, черножопый, or chornaya zhopa,[62] directed against indigenous people from the Caucasus, e.g., from Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. It means "black-arse" in Russian.[63]
Argentine degrading term for Chileans.[64]
Ching Chong
(U.S., Canada, UK, New Zealand) mocking the language of or a person of perceived Chinese descent. An offensive term that has raised considerable controversy, for example when used by comedian Rosie O'Donnell.[65] (Some Chinese languages/dialects are tonal languages.)
found offensive, although it is 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 Chinese was common.[66]
(U.S., UK, NZ, Australia, India) people of Chinese descent.[67][68]
Churka чурка
Russian language slur for Central Asians and indigenous people of Caucasus.[62]
Chonky, Chunky, Chunger
refers to a person of Chinese or Korean heritage with "white attributes", in either personality or appearance.[69]
Christ killer
a Jew,[70][71] an allusion to Jewish deicide.
A person who is figuratively 'black on the outside, white on the inside'.[72][73]
Used in Latin America[74] and the Southwestern United States[75][76] to refer to people of perceived Mestizo descent, especially teenagers and young people in the lowrider subculture.[74] It may be derogatory depending on circumstances.[75][77]
(Canada) refers to an individual of aboriginal descent.[78] See Chugach for the native people.
Ciapaty or ciapak
(Poland) a racial slur for darkskinned people of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian descent, sometimes also used for people from Caucasus.[79] From chapati.[80]
(Indonesia) a Chinese person or descendant. 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.[81][82]
Named after the coconut, the nut from the coconut palm; in the American sense, it derives from the fact that a coconut is brown on the outside and white on the inside.
(U.S.) a person of Hispanic descent who is accused of acting "white".[83]
(UK) a brown person of South Asian descent who has assimilated into Western culture.[84][85][86]
(New Zealand/Australia) a Pacific Islander.[87]
(North America) unskilled Asian laborer, usually Chinese (originally used in 19th-century for Chinese railroad laborers). Possibly from Mandarin "苦力" ku li or Hindi kuli, "day laborer."[88] Also racial epithet for Indo-Caribbean people, especially in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and South African Indians.[89]
(U.S., UK) a black person. Possibly from Portuguese barracão or Spanish barracón, a large building constructed to hold merchandise, where slaves were kept for sale, anglicised to barracoon (1837).[90][91] Popularized by the song "Zip Coon", played at Minstrel shows in the 1830s.
(Australia) An Aboriginal Australian[92]
(New Zealand) A Pacific Islander[93]
Coon hunting
(U.S.) looking for a black person to victimise or assault, either by baiting them into a confrontation[94] or using a pretext such as allegedly paying too much attention to a white woman.[95] Historically, the term was also sometimes used for people seeking to recapture escaped slaves.[94] The term can also be non-racist when used as a shortened form for raccoon hunting.
Coonass, or Coon-ass
(U.S.) a person of Cajun ethnicity.[96] Not to be confused with the French connasse.
(U.S.) a poor Appalachian or poor Southerner, a white person, first used in the 19th century.[97] It is sometimes used specifically to refer to a native of Florida or Georgia.[98] Also used in a more general sense in North America to refer to white people disparagingly.
a black person.[99]
(Australia, Africa, New Zealand, North America) a person of Indian origin.[100]
Cushi, also spelled Kushi (כושי)
Term originating from the Hebrew Bible, generally used to refer to a dark skinned person 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 African migrant workers and asylum seekers in Israel.[101]


Dago, Dego
a. (UK and Commonwealth) refers to Spaniards, Italians, or Portuguese, possibly derived from the Spanish name "Diego",[102]
b. (U.S.) An Italian or person of Italian descent.[103] See also Dago dazzler.
Dal Khor
An Urdu/Persian term used for 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.[104]
Darky / darkey / darkie
noun. a black person.[105] 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.[106]
a Southeast Asian, particularly a Vietnamese person. Also used as a disparaging term for a North Vietnamese soldier or guerrilla in the Vietnam War. Origin: 1965–70, Americanism[107]
Dogan, dogun
(Canada) Irish Catholic [19th century on; origin uncertain: perhaps from Dugan, an Irish surname].[108]
Dothead, Dot
derogatory term for South Asians referring to the bindi.[109][110]
Dune coon
(U.S.) an Arab[111] equivalent of sand nigger (below).[112]


Eight ball
a black person (referring to the black ball in pool); slang, usually used disparagingly[113]
(British) an Italian person; slang, usually used disparagingly (especially during World War II). Originated through the mispronunciation of "Italian" as "Eye-talian".[114]


(UK) an Irish Catholic. Derived from the Fenian Brotherhood.[115]
(France, verlan for juif) a Jew.[116]
(United States) ethnic slur applied to Filipinos.[117]
(North America) a recent Chinese immigrant, from "Fresh Off the Boat". Used most commonly by American-born Chinese (see "ABC" above) to refer disparagingly to newcomers.[2]
(UK, France, Hungary ("fricc"), Poland [Fryc], Russia [фриц], Latvia [fricis]) a German [from Friedrich (Frederick)].[118][119]
Frog, Froggy, Frogeater
(Canada, UK and U.S.) a French person, person of French descent, or a French Canadian.[120] 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).[121]
(UK) colonialist term used to refer to the Hadendoa warriors in the 19th century.[122] Not applicable in Australia, see Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels.


Gaijin (外人)
(Japan) a term for any non-Japanese person; a foreigner.[123]
A derogatory term used to describe white people, especially older white men.[124]
Gans (Ганс)
(USSR) a German or more uncommonly a Latvian person.[125] The term originated among the Soviet troops in World War II, coming from Russified form of the German first name Hans.[126] 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[127] 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.
(AUS) an Aboriginal woman.[128]
Gin jockey
(AUS) a white person having casual sex with an Aboriginal woman. Pejorative.[129]
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.[130]
Gook, Gook-eye, Gooky
Far Easterners, used especially for enemy soldiers.[131] Its use has been traced to U.S. Marines serving in the Philippines in the early 20th century.[131][132] The earliest recorded example is dated 1920.[133] It gained widespread notice as a result of the Korean and Vietnam wars.[131]
(India, Pakistan and UK) a term used by Asians to describe a white person.[134]
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, use may be controversial, it can be assigned pejoratively to non-Jews.[135][136]
Greaseball, Greaser
A person of Italian descent. It can also refer to any person of Mediterranean/Southern European descent or Hispanic descent.[137]
A White person from an English-speaking country. Used in Spanish-speaking regions – chiefly Latin America, but sometimes used by Latino Americans. In Mexico only means an American.[138] Likely from the Spanish word "griego", meaning Greek.[139][140] In the Portuguese language, it is a colloquial neutral term for any foreigner, regardless of race, ethnicity or origin, or for a person whose native language is not Portuguese (including people whose native language is Spanish).[141][142][143][144][145]
(U.S.) A black person. Derived from "negroid".[146]
Gub, Gubba
(AUS) Aboriginal term for white people[147]
Guizi (鬼子)
(used in Mainland China and Taiwan) Foreigners. 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).
(U.S.) An Italian American male. Derives from the Italian given name, Guido. Used mostly in the Northeastern United States as a stereotype for working-class urban Italian Americans.[148] A female equivalent may be guidette.[149]
Guinea, Ginzo
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 U.S. servicemen in the Pacific Theater.[150]
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).[151] Once a mark of xenophobia, the word is now in general, informal use.
Gyopo, Kyopo (교포)
(Korea), literally "sojourner". A Korean who was born or raised overseas, particularly the United States[152] (see also banana in this page)
Gypsy, Gyppo, gippo, gypo, gyppie, gyppy, gipp
a. A Romani people.
b. (UK and Australia) Egyptians.[153]


(South Africa) a term for Afrikaners[154]
Hajji, Hadji, Haji
(U.S.) Used to refer to 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).[155]
Anyone who is mixed race, such as of Native American (especially North American) and white European parentage. 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.
(U.S., 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.[156]
Heeb, Hebe
(U.S.) a Jewish person, derived from the word "Hebrew".[157][158]
(U.S.) term for an Italian immigrant,[159] sometimes used with or to distinguish from "Hunk" ("Hunky").[160]
(U.S.) term for Americans of Appalachian or Ozark heritage.[161]
Honky also spelled "honkey" or "honkie"
(U.S.) 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.[162]
(New Zealand) used by Māori to describe New Zealanders of European descent.[163]
(New Zealand) an offensive term for a Māori (from the formerly common Maorified version of the English name George).[164]
a. (U.S. and UK) Germans, especially German soldiers; popular during World War I.[165] 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.
b. An offensive term for a Protestant in Northern Ireland or historically, a member of the British military in Ireland ("Britannia's huns").[166][167]
Hunky, Hunk
(U.S.) A central Central European laborer. 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.[168][160]
(U.S.) 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.[169]


Ikey / ike / iky
a Jew [from Isaac][170]
Ikey-mo / ikeymo
a Jew [from Isaac and Moses][171]
an Indonesian. Used mostly in Malaysia and Singapore.[172][173]
a Native American, corrupted "Indian".[174]


(Malaysia) an unsophisticated person, from the Malay name of an indigenous ethnic group.
a. (U.S., especially during World War II) a Japanese soldier or national, or anyone of Japanese descent.
b. (U.S., post-WWII, usually written JAP) an acronym for "Jewish-American princess", a pejorative stereotype of certain Jewish American females as materialistic or pampered.
Japie, yarpie
a white, rural South African [from plaasjapie, "farm boy"][175]
(Commonwealth, especially during World War I and World War II, probably an alteration of "German") a German national or soldier.[176] Origin of Jerry can.
(US and UK) a young Jewish male, originally young Jewish boys who sold counterfeit coins in 18th century London [177][178]
Jigaboo, jiggabo, jigarooni, jijjiboo, zigabo, jig, jigg, jigga, jigger
(U.S.)[179] a black person with stereotypical black features (e.g. dark skin, wide nose, and big lips).[180] From a Bantu verb tshikabo, meaning "they bow the head docilely", indicating meek or servile individuals.[181]
Jim Crow
a black person.[182]
Jock, jocky, jockie
(UK) a Scottish person, Scots language nickname for the personal name John, cognate to the English, Jack. Occasionally used as an insult,[183] 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.
Jungle bunny
(U.S. and UK) a black person.[184]


Kaffir, kaffer, kaffir, kafir, kaffre, kuffar
(from Arabic kafir "infidel"[185][186])
a. (South Africa) a black person
b. also caffer or caffre: a non-Muslim (regardless of race).
c. a member of a people inhabiting the Hindu Kush mountains of north-east Afghanistan
Kaffir boetie
(Afrikaans) "Kaffir brother", a black sympathiser during apartheid
(Burmese) derogatory word for its Muslim citizens who are "black-skinned" or "undesirable aliens".[187]
(Australia, offensive) a Pacific Islander[188][189]
(German), particularly used of Turks, and to some extent re-appropriated
(Filipino) Filipino slang for Americans. Shortened from the Tagalog word "Amerikano".[190]
Katsap or kacap or kacapas
Ukrainian: кацап, Lithuanian: kacapas, disparaging terms for Russians used in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania.
A Muslim, usually of Arab descent.
a term to refer to Malaysians, Singaporeans and Indonesians with origins in India and elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent. In Indonesian, the term is in derogative meaning and discriminatory in racial connotation, as it can be applied to any person with dark complexion, not only Southern Indian descents, but also to native Indonesians with darker complexion and foreign blacks.[191][192]
a person necessarily having Assamese ethnicity and a descendant of people of medieval Assam, now a territory of India.
Khokhol (Polish Chochoł)
Derogatory term for a Ukrainian, derived from a term for a traditional Cossack-style haircut.[193]
Kike or kyke
(U.S.) Ashkenazi Jews. 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).[194]
a Korean person.[195]
(Ireland), an Irish Traveler.[196][197]
Ukrainian term for Russians, in reference to Russian St. George ribbon whose coloration resembles the stripes of the Colorado beetle.[198]
(North America and Commonwealth, from sauerkraut) a German,[199] most specifically during World War II.


(RU) A Lithuanian person, from Lithuanian greetings, labas rytas/laba diena/labas vakaras ("good morning/day/evening")[200]
Laowai 老外
(China) a foreigner, literally "old friend", but often used to objectify and exclude foreigners
(AUS) A Lebanese person, usually a Lebanese Australian.[201]
(U.S. / NL) A Briton. Comes from the historical British naval practice of giving sailors limes to stave off scurvy.[202]
an Australian Aboriginal woman.[203]
a Lithuanian.[204][205]


(Zimbabwe): A local European held in contempt, or more commonly a white African of European ancestry.[206]
originally used by francophone colonists in North Africa,[207] also used in Europe as derogatory term against Immigrants from Africa.[208]
Majus (مجوس)
Arab slur against Persians, meaning Zoroastrian, Magi, fire worshipper.
Malakh-khor (ملخ خور)
"locust eater", a Persian slur against Arabs,[209][210][211] referring to the eating of locusts in Arab cuisine.[212][213][214]
(Bangladesh) Hindus.[215]
(Indonesia) a Malaysian citizen, as the reply to Indon word. Malon is (mostly) a short for "Malaysia Bloon" (dumb Malaysians).[216]
Malingsia / Malingsial / Malingsialan
(Indonesia) means "Malaysian thief / damned thief", is a slang for Malaysians. Originally combined from 2 words "maling" (Javanese, meaning "thief") and "Malaysia". It was used by the Indonesian people because of the continuous claims of Indonesian cultures, Indonesians treated Malaysians as a group of thief, for stealing local Indonesian cultures that don't have any connection with Malaysia (such as Reog Ponorogo which comes from East Java, Batik, Balinese Hindu Pendet dance, etc.) and food (Rendang, etc.).[217]
Aggressive black person.[218] Originally referred to Kenyans of the Kikuyu tribe involved in a ferocious insurgency against British colonialists in the 1950s.
A person of Irish descent.[219]
Moon Cricket/Mooncricket
Black person.[220][221]
Moskal (Russian and Ukrainian: москаль, Belarusian: маскаль, Polish: moskal, German: moskowiter)
a historically a neutral designation for a person from Muscovy,[222] and currently an ethnic slur referring to Russians used in Ukraine and Belarus.[222]
Black person. The word is a corruption of melanzane, the Italian word for eggplant. Also called a mouli.[223][224][225]
(Central African countries around/near Lake Victoria) White skinned person[226] in Central Africa. Derived from the word "dizzy" or "lost" to describe European explorers in the 1800s who were thought to be lost because they passed the same spot in their exploration or reconnoitering of Africa.


Arab term for Romani people (gypsies) and other groups sharing a itinerant lifestyle.
A term used by Bengali Hindus to refer to Muslims in Bengal.[227]
(France) someone from East or South East Asia. A corrupted Vietnamese word with a derogatory meaning similar to "yokel", "country bumpkin", etc.[228]
a young black person.[229]
Nig-nog or Nignog
(UK) a black person.[230] – note alternative original mildly derogatory meaning in the UK: "a novice; a foolish or naive person"[231]
Nigger / Niger / nig / nigor / nigra / nigre (Caribbean) / nigar / niggur / nigga / niggah / niggar / nigguh / niggress / nigette
(International) Black. From the Spanish and Portuguese word negro, derived from the Latin niger.
(U.S. and UK) someone of Japanese descent (shortened version of Nipponese, from Japanese name for Japan, Nippon)[232]
Nitchie / neche / neechee / neejee / nichi / nichiwa / nidge / nitchee / nitchy
(Canada) a North American Indian [From the Algonquian word for "friend"].[233]
Northern Monkey
(UK) used in the south of England, relating to the supposed stupidity and lack of sophistication of those in the north of the country.[234] In some cases this has been adopted in the north of England, with a pub in Leeds even taking the name 'The Northern Monkey'.[235] (see also Southern Faerie)
(Syria and the Levant) a member 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 the perception that it implied a heretical separateness from mainstream Islam.[236] 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.[237]


(Hungarian-speaking territories) a term used pejoratively by Hungarians to refer to Romanians[238]
(U.S.) black on the outside and white on the inside, hinted by the appearance of an Oreo cookie.[239][240] Used as early as the 1960s.[241]
Oven Dodger
A Jew,[242] implying that one or one's ancestors avoided dying in the Holocaust and so avoid the crematorium ovens.
(UK, Isle of Wight) a term used by residents of the Isle of Wight, sometimes pejoratively, to refer to people from the mainland United Kingdom.[243]


(Primarily UK) an Irishman,[244] derived from Pádraig/Patrick. Often derogatory; however, Lord Edward FitzGerald, a major leader of the United Irishmen of 1798,[245] was proclaimed by his Sister proudly "a Paddy and no more" and stated that "he desired no other title than this".[246]
Paki, Pak
(United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada) Pakistanis, also directed towards other South Asians (and sometimes Middle Eastern people), shortened from "Pakistani".[247][248][249][250]
(Pacific Islands) 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.[251]
(Native Americans) white people.[252]
Pancake Face, Pancake
an Asian person[253]
Used by southern African Americans and upper-class whites to refer to poor rural whites.[254][255]
Pepper or Pepsi
(Canada) a French Canadian or Québécois.[256][257] Derived from the Anglo-Canadian jibe that their stereotypically bad dental hygiene was due to drinking Pepsi or Dr Pepper for breakfast.
An African American child.[258][259]
(Austria) a. a Prussian. (historically)
b. a German.
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].[260]
Plastic Paddy
(Ireland) a non-Irish person who claims to be Irish.[261]
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)").[262] (See also "Chicano")
Polack, Polak, Polock[263]
a Pole or a person of Polish or Slavic origin,[264] from the Polish endonym, Polak (see Name of Poland). Note: the proper Swedish demonym for Polish people is polack[265] and the Norwegian equivalent is polakk.[266]
a Spanish derogatory term for a Catalan person.
Pom, Pohm, Pommy, Pommie, Pommie Grant
(AUS/NZ/SA) a British (usually English)[267] immigrant.
Porch monkey
a black person[268] referring to perceived common behavior of groups hanging out on front porches or steps of urban apartment complexes in U.S. cities.
(U.S.) A person from Portugal or a person of Portuguese descent.[269]
Prairie nigger
Native American[270]
(Indonesia) literally means "people that originally reside/live in a place", but use of "pribumi" was derogatory especially in Dutch colonial era. "Pribumi" or less derogatory "bumiputera" refers to native Indonesian descendants, such as Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, etc. This is the result of law known aspenggolongan (classification by ethnicity). This law differed treatment for European, Arabic (Timur Asing), Chinese, and native Indonesian. Today, this word is used especially by anti-Chinese in Indonesia. Use of this word is banned with Inpres (Instruksi Presiden, lit. President's Instruction) 26/1998, along with instruction to stop discrimination by race in government.[271]
a Russian-language slur for a Pole


(Caribbean) a black person,[272] often gullible or unsophisticated.[273] From the West African name Kwazi, often given to a child born on a Sunday[274][275]


Arabs, Indian Sikhs and some other peoples, for wearing traditional headdress such as turbans or keffiyehs.[276] Sometimes used generically for all Islamic nations. Also called "Osama" as a slur.[277] See towel head.
is a stereotypical term traditionally associated with African Americans in the United States.[278]
(Bengali) akin to the western term Judas.[279]
(Barbados) the islands' laborer-class whites.
(U.S.) Southern laborer-class whites.[280] (South Africa) Not to be confused with rooinek (literally "red neck"), South African slang for a person of British descent.[281]
Native Americans, used in the names of several sports teams in the U.S.[282]
Rosuke, Roske
Japanese derogatory term for Russians ("suke/ske" is a Japanese general-purpose derogatory suffix.)[283][284]
a term used in Peru and Bolivia to refer disdainfully to Chileans. The term roto ("tattered") was first applied to Spanish conquerors in Chile, who were badly dressed and preferred military strength over intellect.[285]
(English-speaking Asians) a white or non-Asian person.[286]
derogatory term for Russians.[287]
a Russian-language derogatory collective term for Russians[288]


(U.S.) an African American, black, or sometimes a South Asian person.[289]
Sand nigger
Arabs (due to the desert environment of Arab countries),[290][291] Equivalent of dune coon (above).[112]
(Scottish, Gaelic) an English person[292]
(England, archaic) a Scottish person, local variant of Sandy, short for "Alasdair".[293]
somewhat pejorative term for people of Scandinavia descent living in the U.S., now often embraced by Scandinavian descendants.[294][295][296][297]
Seppo, Septic
(Australian/British) An American. (Cockney rhyming slang: Septic tankYank)[298]
Schvartse, Schwartze
Literally "black", a Yiddish or German term for someone of African descent.[299]
(U.S.) a 19th-century term for an "untrustworthy Jew".[300]
Sheep shagger
(AUS) a New Zealander.[301]
(UK) a Welsh person.[302]
(Yiddish): a non-Jewish man. Cf. "Shiksa"
(Ireland) the Travelling Folk. Derived from siúilta, which means "The Walkers" in Irish.
Shiksa (Yiddish)
a non-Jewish woman. Cf. "Shegetz". Derived from the Hebrew root Shin-Qof-Tzadei (שקץ), meaning loathsome or abomination.[303]
(U.S.) a black person (from shoeshiner).[304]
Shiptar (Šiptar)
word used by Serbs to insult Albanians, derived from the Albanian word Shqiptar.[305]
a term used by Gheg Albanians to refer to Serbs, Macedonians, and Montenegrins.[306]
Shkutzim (Yiddish, plural)
non-Jewish men, especially those perceived to be anti-Semitic. Cf. Shegetz, Shiksa.[307]
A Jew, or more specifically, a greedy or usurious Jewish person. From the antagonistic character of Shylock, a Jewish money-lender, in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice.[308]
Sideways vagina/pussy/cooter
Asian women, particularly Chinese women.[309]
(U.S.) A term for Somali militia fighters[310]
(Greece) A derogatory term used in Greece for ethnic Macedonians.[311][312]
Skip, Skippy
(Aus) An Australian, especially one of British descent, from the children's television series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo[313]
Slant, slant–eye
a person of East Asian descent in reference to the appearance of the eyes[314].
Slope, slopehead, slopy, slopey, sloper
(Aus, UK, and U.S.) a person of Asian (in Australia, especially Vietnamese; in America, especially Chinese) descent.[315][316] Also slant, slant–eye.[317][318]
Smoked Irish / smoked Irishman
(U.S.) a 19th-century term for blacks (intended to insult both blacks and Irish).[272]
(سوسمار خور) "lizard eater" a Persian slur against Arabs, referring to the eating of lizards in Arab cuisine.[319][320][321]
a black person [originated in the U.S. in the 1950s][322]
Southern Faerie, Southern Fairy
(UK), a pejorative term used in the North of England to describe someone from the South, alluding to their supposed mollycoddled ways. (see also Northern Monkey)[323]
(South Africa) an Afrikaans term abbreviated as "Soutie" and translates as "Salt-penis", and used as a derogatory term for White English speaking people. It derives from the Boer Wars where it was said that British soldiers had one foot in Britain, one foot in South Africa and their penis dangled in the Atlantic Ocean.[324]
a black person, recorded since 1928 (OED), from the playing cards suit.[325]
A term used for an African American, or other person of African descent.[326]
Spic, spick, spik, spig, or spigotty
a. (U.S.) a person of Hispanic descent. 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.[327]
a black person,[328] attested from the 1940s.[329]
a Nordic person, such as a Scandinavian or a German. Refers to either the stereotyped shape of their heads, or to the shape of the Stahlhelm M1916 steel helmet,[330] or to its owner's stubbornness (like a block of wood).
(U.S. and CAN) a Native American woman.[331] Derived from lower East Coast Algonquian (Massachuset: ussqua),[332] which originally meant "young woman", but which took on strong negative connotations in the late 20th century.
Swamp Guinea
a person of Italian descent.[333]


a Mexican person. This phrase is uttered by Willem Dafoe's character (Charlie) in the film Born on the Fourth of July.[334]
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).[335]
Taig (also Teague, Teg and Teig)
used by loyalists in Northern Ireland for members of the nationalist/Catholic/Gaelic community. Derived from the Irish name Tadhg, often mistransliterated as Timothy.[336][337]
Tar-Baby (UK, U.S. and NZ)
a black child.[338] Also used to refer without regard to race to a situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself. See tar baby.
A black person. [19th century][339][272]
a derogatory term of the Italian language to designate an inhabitant of Southern Italy.
(Southern Scotland) somebody from the north of Scotland or rural Scottish areas.[340]
(UK) a black person.[272]
Timber nigger
Native Americans.[341]
Ting tong
(UK) Chinese people or East Asians.[342]
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][343]
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", possibly derived from a reputation for rowdy and alcoholic recreation. Often confused with Gypsy/Romani people.
American prison derogatory term for a black person.[344]
Towel head
a person who wears a turban. Often refers specifically to Sikhs,[345] or Arabs and Muslims—based on the traditional keffiyeh headdress.[346]
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.[347]
Tork-e khar (ترک خر) (Turkish donkey) (Iran)
A derogatory insult usually directed against Azeri Turks and Turkish people.[348][349] It usually means a stubborn person who does not accept any reasons and wants to achieve everything with force.
A pejorative term historically used in Western Europe and still in use within the Balkans to label and or describe a Muslim Albanian. In the Greek language, the expression is rendered as Turkalvanoi.[350]
(South Wales) Often used to describe a person from Llanelli. The origin of this 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 U.S. 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.[351]
(American Indian) a European American, with little or no social or blood links to any tribe, who claims to be an American Indian (Native American);[352] or an Asian American who has become completely integrated into White American, or mainstream American culture.[353]


(literally "dill" in fact a pun: ukrainian<->ukrop) a disparaging term used by Russians to refer to Ukrainians.[354][198]
Uncle Tom
a black person perceived as behaving in a subservient manner to white authority figures.[355]


Vatnyk, Vata: Russians with pro-Russian jingoist and chauvinist views. A vatnik is a cheap cotton-padded jacket.


White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
West Islander
(New Zealand) an Australian - by extension from New Zealand's North Islanders and South Islanders. Usually jokey rather than derogatory.[356]
(U.S.) an illegal immigrant residing in the United States. Originally applied specifically to Mexican migrant workers who had illegally crossed the U.S. 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.[357]
Wigger / Whigger / Wigga (White Nigger)
(U.S.) 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.[358] Also used by radical Québécois in self-reference, as in the seminal 1968 book White Niggers of America.
White trash
(U.S.) poor white people. Common usage from the 1830s as a pejorative used by black house slaves against white servants.[359]
a term for a Caucasian.[360]
a. (UK and Commonwealth, except AUS) any swarthy or dark-skinned foreigner. Possibly derived from "golliwogg"[361] or also, possibly, a now-obsolete acronym for "Worthy Oriental Gentleman", an ironic reference of this type. In Britain, 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.
b. (AUS) Usually used to refer to Southern Europeans and Mediterraneans (Italians, Croatians, Greeks, Albanians, Spaniards, Lebanese, and others).
(North America and UK) anyone of Italian descent, derived from the Italian dialectism, "guappo", close to "dude, swaggerer" and other informal appellations, a greeting among male Neapolitans.[362]


Xiao Riben
(China) the Japanese people or a person of Japanese descent.


Yam yam
(UK) term used by people from Birmingham to describe someone from the Black Country.[363]
a contraction of "Yankee" below, first recorded in 1778 and employed internationally by speakers of British English in informal reference to all Americans generally.[364]
from Dutch, possibly from Janke ("Johnny") or a dialectical variant of Jan Kaas ("John Cheese").[364] 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.
a) an East or southeast Asian person, in reference to those who have a yellowish skin color.[365]
b) anyone of mixed heritage, especially black or white people.[365]
a Jew, from its use as an endonym among Yiddish-speaking Jews.[366]
The Cambodian word "Yuon" (yuôn) យួន /yuən/ is an ethnic slur for Vietnamese, derived from the Indian word for Greek, "Yavana".[367] It can also be spelled as "Youn".[368]


Zip, Zipperhead
an Asian person. 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 and Gran Torino.[369][370][371] The phrase "zips in the wire" from Platoon has also been used outside of this context. See also "Zip" in List of disability-related terms with negative connotations.

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  • Ayto, John; Simpson, John (2010). Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199232055. 
  • Green, Jonathon (2005). Cassell's Dictionary of Slang. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-304-36636-1. 
  • Dalzell, Tom (11 May 2018). The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-351-76520-6. 
  • Moore, Bruce, ed. (2004). The Australian Oxford Dictionary. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195517965. 
  • Partridge, Eric (2006). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: A-I. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415259378. 
  • Partridge, Eric (2006). The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English: J-Z. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415259385. 
  • Rawson, Hugh (1989). Wicked Words: a treasury of curses, insults, put-downs, and other formerly unprintable terms from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 9780517573341. 
  • Spears, Richard A. (2001). Slang and Euphemism: A Dictionary of Oaths, Curses, Insults, Ethnic Slurs, Sexual Slang and Metaphor, Drug Talk, College Lingo, and Related Matters. Signet. ISBN 978-0-451-20371-7. 
  • Wilkes, G. A. (1978). A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms. Sydney: Fontana/Collins. ISBN 0-00-635719-9. 

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)
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