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IS "MURZYN" word RACIST?


grubas 12 | 1,392    
1 Feb 2010  #91
No its NOT.this is how u call black person in polish.czarnuch asfalt smoluch bambus r racist.
Trevek 26 | 1,703    
1 Feb 2010  #92
Murzyn may be a direct equivalent of nigger but is neutral, although nigger is (has become) offensive.

But 'nigger' has never been an 'official' term. It is based on southern US dialect of 'negro' and so it's connected with slavery. Perhaps the most polite useage of it in a 'white' context is 'nigger minstrel', referring to the black-faced singers who sang 'southern songs' in mock black dialect. It's pretty well accepted now as racist and offensive (except, perhaps, in Australia).
Olaf 6 | 957    
1 Feb 2010  #93
It comes from old-Polish word "murzać" meaning dirty. Back in the days if you were not a coal miner and were black - they had to make a name for you. Most obvious was that they were "dirty".
enkidu 7 | 623    
1 Feb 2010  #94
There is no such word. Never was. Maybe use some dictionary next time.
jonni 16 | 2,491    
1 Feb 2010  #95
It comes from old-Polish word "murzać" meaning dirty

It comes from the same root as the English word 'Moor'.
enkidu 7 | 623    
1 Feb 2010  #96
Jonni - I've never said that.
jonni 16 | 2,491    
1 Feb 2010  #97
True. For some reason it put your name on the quote. I'll edit it now.
Olaf 6 | 957    
5 Feb 2010  #98
Olaf:
It comes from old-Polish word "murzać" meaning dirty. Back in the days if you were not a coal miner and were black - they had to make a name for you. Most obvious was that they were "dirty".

There is no such word. Never was. Maybe use some dictionary next time.

And which dictionaries exactly you have checked? Are you a linguist?? Have you checked deep enough?
You can even google it, please! Don't write a definitive statement unless you really know the subject.

Look here:
andreadoria.republika.pl/bajki/sierotka15.html
afryka.org/?showNewsPlus=3004
These are just random results form a quick search...
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
5 Feb 2010  #99
Yeah, I did more than a quick search, and all these links point to one (ONE) story written by Konopnicka, with a note that the pronunciation of "murzać" is "mur-zać", so if "murzyn" were etymologically related, the word should be pronounced "mur-zyn" (two distinct consonants instead of one). Someone seems to have an agenda and is spreading this false etymology around the Polish internet.

The true etymology is from the Old Czech "mouřenín" coming from the Greek "mauros" - dark-skinned, swarthy (the same root as in the English "Moor"). Check it out, master linguist!
Olaf 6 | 957    
5 Feb 2010  #100
Magda, no need to be mean, is there? Enkidu wrote a definitive statement which was not true and I commented on it.
Your "in-depth" search was based on not much more than wikipedia and first search results I think. That's not enough in many cases and it does not give full knowledge.

I didn't deny it is not a borrowing - read with more understanding please! My explanation was for the purpose of proving there actually was such a word (without going deep) as someone stated there wasn't, and not for the sake of making a lecture. And the word does not show up only in Konopnicka's. Try some dictionaries or opinions of linguists specialised in this field instead of only the web. It helps sometimes! Check Rada Języka Polskiego, or e.g. profs. Grzenia, £aziński, Siuciak. Read their explanations and you will hopefully conclude that generally neither of us were wrong.

I guess you like to prove your point, more than share knowledge.
marqoz - | 195    
5 Feb 2010  #101
Take it easy - it's only etymology.

Let's have a look to another source:

PL: Murzyn, jak czytamy w Etymologicznym słowniku języka polskiego Andrzeja Bańkowskiego, pojawił się w języku polskim w XIV -wiecznych psałterzach, jako przekład z łacińskiego Aethiops (gr. Aitiops), znacząc tyle co ciemnolicy.

EN: Murzyn as we can read in Etymological Dictionary of Polish Language by Andrzej Bańkowski was firstly reported in 14th century in psalters as an equivalent of a Latin word Aethiops (Greek Aitiops) and meaning a dark faced man.

And here you have: Latin mauros (acc. to Mirosława Siuciak) and Greek mavros (acc. to any Greek dictionary) meaning black.

Having in mind that Polish was under very high Latin pressure in medieval and early modern times, the Latin etymology is the most probably one ie. Murzyn means black.
Olaf 6 | 957    
5 Feb 2010  #102
No argument to that, Marqoz. Thanks for a positive input:))
enkidu 7 | 623    
7 Feb 2010  #103
Enkidu wrote a definitive statement which was not true

Enkidu did suggested you to use some dictionary before you make a fool of yourself next time.
Do it now. Dictionaries won't bite you.
There is no such word in Polish language. As Magdalena pointed out- there is ONE reference to this world (murzać) in the Polish literature. One.
Olaf 6 | 957    
9 Feb 2010  #104
And I suggest little less confidence. My advice on using more sources, i.e. dictionaries came first. Anyway I appreciate your input.
marqoz - | 195    
10 Feb 2010  #105
And I suggest little less confidence.

Olaf do not exaggerate. I have found, of course your murzać. It's enough to google it.
But contrary to you, I'm not convinced. Yes, there is a few links, but all they look like they are going from one source (you maybe know the theory of mems' diffusion). Unfortunately in most cases, when authors link Murzyn with murzać, they're doing it to underline how derogatory is this word for example guys from the portal: afryka.org.

I'd prefer to believe to what well known authorities in linguistics have to say.
Aleksander Brückner, the greatest Polish etymologist wrote: common -in (as in Rusin) singularis added to German Mohr from Latin maurus, 'black'. and asked if murzyć isn't from murzyn.

Samuel Bogumił Linde, the author of first modern Polish dictionary in 1809 wrote:
MURZYN - in Czech mouřenin, èernoch, Slovak mauřenin, Serbian mor, Russian - муринЪ [murin].. from Latin maurus, der Mohr - Nigryczykowie abo murzyny, nazwisko które daiemy narodom czarnym; powszechnie tak nazywamy ludzi czarnych, z kraiów południowych pochodzących (English translation: Nigerians or murzyny, name given by us to black nations;we usually call in such way black people from southern countries) and he presented additional meaning = German ein Mohrenkopf i.e. a horse with black head.

Encyklopedia PWN, Polish main Encyclopaedia: from Latin Mauri (Moors).
encyklopedia.pwn.pl/haslo.php?id=3944532
Kwic - | 3    
10 Feb 2010  #106
I wouldn't say that this word is a racist word, nope.

cheers
grethomory 1 | 154    
11 Feb 2010  #107
That is correct it is all about context. How it's used. If you are using it in a derogatory statement by all means it is.
segan    
11 Feb 2010  #108
1)
Q: Is MURZYN a racist word?
A: Most probably
2) Q) Is Polacks a racist Word
A: Most probably not

The bottom line is that some feels Most Blacks dont like be called Murzyn and most poles dont like been called Polacks..I guess thaz the way it goes..
Olaf 6 | 957    
11 Feb 2010  #109
Marqoz: Yes, that's interesting. Thanks I'll be checking the leads you wrote. And it was not me who exaggerate I think :))

cheers
marqoz - | 195    
11 Feb 2010  #110
The bottom line is that some feels Most Blacks dont like be called Murzyn and most poles dont like been called Polacks..I guess thaz the way it goes..

Have you made some research about what Polish Blacks think about word Murzyn?
And the same with Poles living in Anglosaxon zone about Polack?

Anyway, no matter what will be the answer.
Most Poles think that Murzyn isn't derogatory
and most Anglosaxon think Polack isn't derogatory (maybe a little ironic).

This is language. You must learn it - not change it from outside.
kot_w_butach - | 1    
13 Feb 2010  #111
'murzyn' is NOT racist. i found it in many books, many times, i don't think that serious authors would use a racist word.
'czarnuch' is racist.
rdw    
13 Feb 2010  #112
You are all kind of missing the point. It's not the word but rather the intonation, intention and perception of it. I for one think people like to be offended and will always find something to complain about but in any case we KNOW what words bother people and if we choose to use them then we can't complain about the consequences.
Trevek 26 | 1,703    
13 Feb 2010  #113
It's not the word but rather the intonation

This has been mentioned. However, there is also the point that it depends how the subject of the word feels the word describes them. "Nigger" might be just a word, but for many it doesn't matter what kind of intonation or context you use, it is still an unacceptable word.

The thing is, the status of Murzyn may change. In UK it was once considered offensive to call a Black person 'Black'. Now it is commonly used and the term, 'coloured' is considered offensive by many. Likewise, in US it was once offensive to call Blacks 'Africans' (so I'm told) but now 'Afro-American' is the accepted title.

The problem for Polish words is that there is not a big enough Black population to really raise the argument.
segan    
13 Feb 2010  #114
MARIQOZ...I am a Polish Black Presently Living in UK hence I have a clue about Issues..
Most Blacks in Poland and those in Uk who are conversant with the word Murzyn dont like the word..and also most poles in UK dont like the word Polack....and Most Poles in Poland dont have the idea of the word Polack as been used to refer to Poles..
landora - | 199    
13 Feb 2010  #115
Czarnuch is much stronger but Murzyn, with the correct intonation, is racist. Neutral my ass.

It's not racist if it's not used in a sentence meant to be offensive. It's just a word describing someone with black skin, that's all.
gumishu 11 | 4,850    
13 Feb 2010  #116
in my personal ears 'czarny' meaning simply black is more offensive when talking of people than Murzyn or murzyn - which are (or at least were until not long ago) scientific terms for people originating in Black Africa

the most neutral word for a black person is perhaps 'czarnoskóry' literally 'black-skinned'

like czarnoskórzy biegacze - black-skinned runners
rdw    
13 Feb 2010  #117
I thought "polak" and "polką" were the nromal Polish words for male and female Polish people. It's what I have said for years and heard them say as well. "Jestem polakiem" etc. Are that many Poles really offended by this?
Nika 2 | 507    
13 Feb 2010  #118
You are absolutely right, Polak and Polka are Polish for male and female Polish people. In Poland it's not offensive in any way.
But I've been told that abroad the word Polak has pejorative meaning.
grethomory 1 | 154    
15 Feb 2010  #119
It does...here in the states Polak is a derogatory term for Polish. To use that word in America is a put down on Polish people. Although many here in the states have heard it, they have no realization they are being put down by their white counterparts here in America.
PolishNutjob 1 | 74    
15 Feb 2010  #120
The problem for Polish words is that there is not a big enough Black population to really raise the argument.

And apart from this spurious, trivial linguistic gnat-straining, the Polish people blissfully embrace the demographic observation noted above.



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