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Is the term 'Polak' derogatory??





Polonius3 1,022 | 13,067    
25 Mar 2010  #62

The standard word for Poland in German is Polen as in: Er ist aus Polen (he is from Poland).
Similarly. Die Polen = the Poles, whilst die Polacken = the Pollacks.
Pollakei and Polacken are rude, dismissive and deprecatory as in: Er is aus der Pollakei (He's from Pollackland). It is comparable to English Kraut or Polish Szwab for German.

Let's nto forget that during the Nazi period Poles were referred to almost exclusively as 'die verfluchten Pollacken' (cursed or damn Pollacks).
convex 20 | 3,988    
25 Mar 2010  #63

Er is aus der Pollakei

That is awesome, I've never heard that before.

Reminds me of when I found out that the Turkish name for Bulgaria is Bulgaristan.
Torq 25 | 2,262    
25 Mar 2010  #64

Why should an eagle care how pigs call him?

Anyway - "Pollack" looks to me like a direct copy of the Polish word "Polak" which means "a Pole".

How can that be derogatory? As far as I'm concerned, foreigners can call me "Pollack",
"Polak", "a Pole", "Polakei" or whatever else they come up with - couldn't give a toss, really.

'die verfluchten Pollacken' (cursed or damn Pollacks).

LOL :-)
wildrover 98 | 4,459    
25 Mar 2010  #65

Some Poles seem to find it offensive..some not....so i am none the wiser after reading the thread about .....IS POLACK RACIST ..

Is there another word that can be used that definatly won,t upset anyone...?
Mr Grunwald 17 | 1,481    
25 Mar 2010  #66

In the mouth of an English speaker do you find the term 'Pollack' offensive?

I would say it was rather defensive as the concept of the word comes from the word "Polak" which means a Pole in Polish. If it would been more an offensive word it should been Powork, or Poig or Pollo Bull$hitto and etc.

Having a slang word for a Pole which origins from the original description of a Pole isn't really that offensive
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 7,944    
25 Mar 2010  #67

Let's nto forget that during the Nazi period Poles were referred to almost exclusively as 'die verfluchten Pollacken' (cursed or damn Pollacks).

I doubt that too...:)
Mr Grunwald 17 | 1,481    
25 Mar 2010  #68

LOL :-)

indeed lol, didn't notice it until now
*thinks of a German SS Officier that finds a hole in his lagerhouse, empty of supplies&equipment*

Suddenly it comes to my mind "Die forfluchgte Banditen!" was more common
TheOther 5 | 3,098    
25 Mar 2010  #69

Is there another word that can be used that definatly won,t upset anyone...?

Plumbers? ;)
Torq 25 | 2,262    
25 Mar 2010  #70

Suddenly it comes to my mind "Die forfluchgte Banditen!" was more common

That's a kickass username there, Grunny! If I ever register at some German forum
I will have "der verfluchte Bandit" as my moniker :-)
Mr Grunwald 17 | 1,481    
25 Mar 2010  #71

Plumbers? ;)

That is rather offensive then defensive as it says something mean about an career and saying all Poles are plumbers, compared to all Poles are Poles in Polish

That's a kickass username there, Grunny! If I ever register at some German forum
I will have "der verflucht Bandit" as my moniker :-)

Good idea :)
MediaWatch 10 | 947    
25 Mar 2010  #72

So what do you call a bunch of Polish people then...? I have heard on tv Polish people refering to themselves and others as Pollacks , so i am not sure if its offensive or not...?

What TV show were you watching?

Among my Polish friends , we call each other all manner of things , and it would not matter at all if i call them a Pollack , or even a burak , but i would not want to cause offence to a stranger...What is the correct word to call Polish people...????

It all comes down to CONTEXT and how its said.

People who know Polish can correct me if I'm wrong here but I understand the word "Polak" is singular to describe one Polish person. But the plural word for "Polak" is Polacy. In Polish there is no such thing as "PolakS" for the plural use of it.

The general term used in the English language for a Polish person is "Pole". This is why in most newspapers across the world, a Polish person is referred to as a Pole. Even by newspapers that don't like Poles LOL

The word "Polak" or "Polack" is offensive to some Polish Americans, since the word "Polack" was used almost always in a degrading way against Polish people by Hollywood and the TV media for many years. When they started to attack Polish people with subhuman intelligence jokes in the 60's and 70's, they often referred to Poles as "Polacks" and media Titan Polish-Hater, Archie Bunker was infamous for his constant degrading sound bytes against Polish people as being "Dumb Polacks". Since this TV show reached as many as FIFTY MILLION Americans in a pop, the sound byte "Dumb Polack" was in the psyche of most Americans INCLUDING Polish Americans.

Polish Americans living in the US prior to the 1960's said it was rare to hear Poles being referred to as "Polacks", especially since in Polish, the plural word "PolackS" didn't exist. The general term for Polish people, as it was for many years, was simply "Poles"
jonni 16 | 2,494    
25 Mar 2010  #73

In Polish there is no such thing as "PolakS" for the plural use of it.

You hear it sometimes in English but not often in the UK. Polaccy would sound unnatural in the English language.

In the US is the word Polak so very offensive? In Britain people generally say Pole - those who say Polak are either Polish themselves or have some specific connection with Poles.
melsomelyb - | 10    
25 Mar 2010  #74

Englishman... Frenchman... Irishman... Germanman... Polishman. It sounds too much like policeman.
Pole is the preferred and accepted word to use in English, but maybe it's just too short for some people.

If some think Pollack is offensive then it probably is. It is usually used in a way that is not exactly friendly. To call a woman a Pollack just sounds plain wrong and even plural Pollacks doesn't sound right. Refined English often likes to keep plurals the same as in the original language borrowed words came from.

On the other hand, Slovak is more correct than Slovakian (for a person) and don't forget how Czechs aren't Czechs but Moravians and Bohemians.
convex 20 | 3,988    
25 Mar 2010  #75

and don't forget how Czechs aren't Czechs but Moravians and Bohemians.

No, there are Czechs and Moravians. No self respecting Czech would call themselves a "Bohemian" :)
melsomelyb - | 10    
25 Mar 2010  #76

No self respecting Czech would call themselves a "Bohemian" :

A Czech who leads a Bohemian lifestyle might, otherwise you're probably right.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,290    
25 Mar 2010  #77

I'm sorry for my ignorance but i really don't know how the Polish view the word 'Polak' is it a derogatory term used for 'Polish' or just the American equivalent.

I think the term Polack is offensive but pretty much only in the US as the term is "related" to the "Polack jokes".

Ironically those jokes, which aren't very common anymore, came about many generations ago when Poles started arriving en masse and were pretty much one of the first immigrant groups that came in such large numbers with no English skills whatsoever. Often they would say in broken English "I'm Polak no Englisz" (in other words they used the proper Polish term for saying I'm a Pole) and eventually the Polack jokes began.
ShortHairThug - | 1,104    
25 Mar 2010  #78

I'm sorry for my ignorance but i really don't know how the Polish view the word 'Polak' is it a derogatory term used for 'Polish' or just the American equivalent.

Yanks simply don't have a clue to what the word means.
Paulina 8 | 1,378    
25 Mar 2010  #79

Having a slang word for a Pole which origins from the original description of a Pole isn't really that offensive

Well, that depends, really.
For example, a slang word for a Russian in Polish is "Rusek/Ruski". Adjective for anything Russian is "ruski". It of course originates from Russian language in which "ruskij" means "a Russian" or adjective "Russian".

But most Russians usually find it offensive. And often they are right to do so. It sounds even worse if it's about a woman ("Ruska"). Of course, many people in Poland probably got used to this word to such an extent that they don't realise it can be viewed as derogatory. Some russophiles also can use this word but in a positive way, to show affection.

I guess it depends on intenstions.

Another example - a derogatory term for a Chinese man in Polish is "Kitajec". "Kitajec" is a normal, official Russian word for a Chinese :)

So, you have to be careful with words :)

In general, I think, those Poles in Poland who know that Polish people in the US are called Pollacks, wouldn't want to be called this way.

As for German words "Polacke" and "Polacken" (at least in case of a German saying them) I would advise to use them only among Polish friends if this person knows they won't feel offended.

IMHO :)

What is the correct word to call Polish people...????

As far as I know in English language it's "a Pole" (singular) and "Poles/Polish people" (plural) :)
Seanus 15 | 19,750    
25 Mar 2010  #80

Just imagine walking up to a Pole and saying 'hey there, Polak'. I don't suppose they would be best pleased. It is kinda derogatory.
KWnorow - | 22    
26 Mar 2010  #81

Yes. Even moreso when the word "dumb" precedes it.
hague1cmaeron    
26 Mar 2010  #82

..IS POLACK RACIST

its just probably invented by thick yanks who couldn't come up with anything better or weren't smart enough to know that it actually is Polak, because in their ridicules accent it comes across as Polack . It doesn't mean anything, it just means Polish in Polish, and so it cannot possibly be offensive.
Mr Grunwald 17 | 1,481    
26 Mar 2010  #83

and so it cannot possibly be offensive.

Really, yes I agree
f stop 25 | 2,529    
26 Mar 2010  #84

disregard if it's been said before, but it all depends on the context: who says it, how they say it and why they say it. No?
MediaWatch 10 | 947    
26 Mar 2010  #85

it all depends on the context: who says it, how they say it and why they say it. No?

Yes.

You are correct.
Polonius3 1,022 | 13,067    
27 Mar 2010  #86

Negroes can jokingly call one another 'nigger' but when whitey does it it's an insult.
MediaWatch 10 | 947    
27 Mar 2010  #87

That's an interesting reference.

Its sort of like that with the "Polak" word.

Its comes down to how it is used, who is using it and why, as others have said.
frd 7 | 1,399    
27 Mar 2010  #88

I don't think it is insulting as such, it depends on the intent really and the tone of voice while speaking it. If it's used in english then it kind of puts stress on its "foreignness" which some might find derogatory.
Kamil_pl - | 59    
28 Mar 2010  #89

If you speak in english, use english name of people from Poland. Don't use Polack, because it offends people. Is it that hard to understand? You say in english, and suddenly you use polish word to describe a Pole. Why?
melsomelyb - | 10    
5 Apr 2010  #90

Just imagine walking up to a Pole and saying 'hey there, Polak'

Hey there, Scot.

Polonius3
Amongst black people, the word (when used by other black people) is often an insult. One black person may use this word in the way you have described, whereas for others, it means a black person of a lower social status.

If it's used in english then it kind of puts stress on its "foreignness" which some might find derogatory.

Interesting point. How should English people feel about the word Angol? How should English people feel about the word Angol if Polish were a world-dominant language in the way that English is?




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