Top 10 Words You Will Not Believe are or Were Slurs

These words are words that sound innocent in our modern world, but have dark origins. Shocking, isn't it? Well, you learn something new everyday. Note: If there are quotes I copied and pasted what I learned.

I got this idea from Mikeramp72 (who unless you're Powell who told me checked him out after I mentioned him a couple times in DMs, you've probably never heard of) from his worst hit songs of 2020 list for the first entry.
The Top Ten
1 Savage

Today it's viewed as a word that means "cool" or "epic" or something like that, but the history goes back centuries.
From some research, apparently it was used to describe indigenous people as "below human" to justify abusing them. And look how that usage has aged. Not well, huh.

Nowadays, even Native Americans use the term.

I think that savage is actually normally used for the "older" purpose, but whatever

2 Hysterical

Today's definition: hilarious/extremely funny.
Original definition: "Hysterical comes from the Greek word for "womb". It was once believed that hysteria was a disorder only suffered by women—and caused by disturbances in the uterus."

3 Redskin

Yeah, sorry to Washington football fans but:
"Redskin is a slang term for Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada."
And it was used as a racial slur towards the Natives for skin color.

4 Cakewalk

Apparently the word was a slave trade term for a slur to people who were... well, traded slaves I guess.

I must admit I didn't know this term at all.

5 Eskimo

""Eskimo" comes from the same Danish word borrowed from Algonquin, "ashkimeq," which literally means "eaters of raw meat." Other etymological research suggests it could mean "snowshoe-netter" too."

Nowadays, this term is so dug into society that we have it in lyrics for Christmas songs and a joke (Eskimos have 100 words for ice...)

6 Fuzzy-wuzzy

It's not a bear.
"Fuzzy-wuzzy was a racist term for Black people (as from Africa, Australia, or Papua New Guinea), stereotyped for their hair texture. The term was used by British soldiers in the 1800s. The offensive term then made its way into a nursery rhyme and a Rudyard Kipling poem."

Yep, the Jungle Book guy used it to NOT refer to Baloo, but someone... else.

7 Moron

It's not just someone who's dumb. It was apparently originally used to discriminate someone with disabilities which is depressing.

YouTube censors the word in captions now, even in kids media like SpongeBob and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

8 Uppity

"The Atlantic reports that during Segregation racist southerners used "uppity" to describe Black people "who didn't know their place," socioeconomically speaking. Originally, the term started within the Black community, but the racists adopted it pretty quickly."
Y'all must have treated it wrong.

9 Gyp

Here it goes back to the 1500s: "Sweeping laws against the Romani people were widespread in many European countries. For instance, in Britain, a 1530 law banned Romani people from entering the country and forced those already living there to leave within 16 days."

10 Blacklist

It apparently means to banish a race/color.

This is a very fascinating one.

The Contenders
11 Bitch

Before becoming "just another swear", the word was a sexist slur.

13 Jock
14 Cat
15 Trap

Initially used to refer to crossdressing anime characters. Some transgender people find the word "trap" offensive as it could give others the impression that they are crossdressing in order to trick someone into thinking they're the opposite gender when that isn't the case.

16 Fruit

"Fruit" was used to describe effeminate men, and from there it became a gay slur. Obviously not as widely used as other gay slurs but there are still people who use it.

17 Ape
18 Frog
19 Hunk
20 Skinny
21 Midget

It's often considered offensive by people with dwarfism. Use dwarf or little person instead when describing someone with dwarfism.

22 Spastic
23 Coolie

During the building of the American Transcontinental Railroad, Asian--more specifically and mainly--Chinese indentured workers were referred to as "coolies". The term reflected the racist fears of "immigrant workers coming to take our jobs" at the time, and it has been documented that 9 out of 10 workers in the Transcontinental Railroad were Chinese indentured servants. White people at the time were fearful of this cheap labor, which ironically derived from the British Empire attempting to basically supplement the now-banned slave trade with the similar practice. The word "coolie" essentially translated to, from many East and South Asian languages, to mean something along the lines of "low-paid, low-status worker." (at least from what I remember reading)

There is a 2013 NPR article under their "CodeSwitch" section that talks about the history and usage of this term, which has now fallen out of the regular American lexicon. The article also opens by introducing a book titled "Coolie Woman" written by the great-granddaughter of an Indian indentured worker. Fascinating facts, please look it up. - BlueTopazIceVanilla

24 Guinea
25 Charlie
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