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Is the term 'Polak' derogatory??


natasia Activity: 3 / 368
Joined: 21 Jun 2008 ♀
 
29 Apr 2012  #181

Not in Polish. But if you say it in English ... yes, it is totally derogatory, and especially if preceded by 'effing' ...

wildrover Activity: 98 / 4,462
Joined: 7 Jun 2007 ♂
 
30 Apr 2012  #182

Unless you are very fluent in Polish , its best not to use the word at all really...

I call my Polish friends Polaks , Buraks and all manner of offensive names , they do the same to me..we are friends and nobody is offended...

I would not use this word among strangers....
KochamPolska Activity: 1 / 4
Joined: 30 Apr 2012 ♂
 
30 Apr 2012  #183

My surname is Polak.. Just Saying.
pawian Activity: 127 / 6,582
Joined: 30 May 2008 ♂
 
30 Apr 2012  #184

Ever thought of changing into Polaski ?
KochamPolska Activity: 1 / 4
Joined: 30 Apr 2012 ♂
 
30 Apr 2012  #185

No, what benefit would it have.. And I am only 14.
donotuse  
28 Jun 2012  #186

In the United States, the term "P***k" is derogatory. It's the equivalent of "n****r" or "sp**k."

The proper term is Pole.

I can't speak for England, but I'd avoid using it.
TheOther Activity: 5 / 3,054
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 ♂
 
28 Jun 2012  #187

Nonsense. Maybe certain Polaks in Illinois have a problem with that expression, but the rest of the country uses it for people of Polish descent. Albeit rarely, and I haven't heard it being used even once since I moved to the US west coast many years ago.
pgtx Activity: 30 / 3,174
Joined: 14 Feb 2009 ♀
 
28 Jun 2012  #188

TheOther:
Nonsense. Every American I know, is aware and knows that Polack is derogatory. And I do not leave in IL.

Do not speak for "the rest of the country" because you do not know shit what everybody else know or think.

i wrote " Americans I know" , not " everybody else".

you fail :)
jasondmzk  
28 Jun 2012  #189

Who even USES that term, nowadays? Archie Bunker's been dead a long time.
grubas Activity: 12 / 1,396
Joined: 1 Feb 2010 ♂
 
28 Jun 2012  #190

Mods/admins how much longer are you going to tolerate ethnic slur coming from this delphiandomine person???
Harry Activity: 65 / 13,518
Joined: 2 May 2007 ♂
 
28 Jun 2012  #191

Polack is a perfectly good term to describe someone who follows the proud racist redneck traditions of their grandfathers.

I very much agree that the word does not describe all members of Polonia, only a certain type of them. It's a word used in much the same way that 'chav' is. Not all Brits are chavs but all chavs are Brits. Not all Polonia are Polaks but all Polaks are Polonia. And then there is 'burak': not all Poles are buraks but all buraks are Poles. Or rednecks: not all Americans are rednecks but all rednecks are American. We could go on with more examples.

There are the stupid people who use Polak to abusively refer to Polish people, but are we going to let the stupid dictate to us what our language should be?

No, I say that provided the word is used to describe only a certain type of Polonia, it is fine.
TheOther Activity: 5 / 3,054
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 ♂
 
28 Jun 2012  #192

you fail :)

I didn't know this was a competition... ;)

Who even USES that term, nowadays? Archie Bunker's been dead a long time.

Exactly, and to compare the term "Polak" with the N-word is simply silly.
delphiandomine Activity: 56 / 14,791
Joined: 25 Nov 2008 ♂
 
28 Jun 2012  #193

No, I say that provided the word is used to describe only a certain type of Polonia, it is fine.

Exactly my thinking. It is a perfect word to describe racist Americans, who use their vague links with Poland to justify dreadful racism on their part.
rybnik Activity: 19 / 1,474
Joined: 16 Jan 2011 ♂
 
29 Jun 2012  #195

Mods/admins how much longer are you going to tolerate ethnic slur coming from this delphiandomine person???

Grubasie! Why do you let him get under your skin?
Borzecho Activity: - / 1
Joined: 8 Jan 2013 ♀
 
8 Jan 2013  #196

Merged: Polak slang term meanings

I need more answers than what I'm getting. My last name is polish but I don't have much history to go on, it frustrates me I can't explain to others about my last name or the country. One thing that is hard to explain is why 'Polak' is an offensive term. Growing up I have never thought of it as offensive, I never looked into it. When I google it, the only things that come up are urban dictionary referring it to be the same offense as using the term nig*er, or calling a mexican a wetback? I want the history. Who started it, why is it offensive, was it something that came forward during Nazi? I hate these short simple answers I keep getting. I want to know this because everytime I say my last name, Orzechowski, I hear 'ahh, Polak...'
Canadian2222  
25 Apr 2015  #197

Merged: The term 'Polak'

It's kind of weird but in the past I've heard that in North America, calling someone a Polak is a derogatory term but Polak is really just Polish for a Polish guy/person.....so is it politically incorrect?
Mr Grunwald Activity: 17 / 1,483
Joined: 16 Dec 2008 ♂
 
25 Apr 2015  #198

Polak shouldn't be a derogatory term! After all it comes from the word Polanin the one who works in the field, if Americans respect anything it's those who work hard with the field(or more work hard for their living). Don't be so negative towards the fielders! :)

After all much of america was build on going west and settling down (settlers nation).
Kat the Pollock  
6 May 2015  #199

Or focus on some REAL issues in this messed up world rather than Pollock. I'm part Pollock,so bring on the jokes!
Stress is a killer. If you wish to shorten your lifespan, at least get worked up about actual issues that matter.
Crow Activity: 134 / 5,713
Joined: 14 Feb 2007 ♂
 
6 May 2015  #200

In my country, we have surname Polak. Its not derogatory.
Polish Whovian  
17 May 2015  #201

Most Europeans will tell you no, but America has turned it into the equivalent of the 'N-Word' to African Americans.
sledz Activity: 23 / 2,280
Joined: 19 Sep 2006 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #202

but America has turned it into the equivalent of the 'N-Word' to African Americans.

What a load of Garbage! Everything gets blamed on America on this forum!

I would say the Germans made up those Polish Jokes, but to link it to the "N" word in America is just ignorant!!
Polonius3 Activity: 982 / 11,697
Joined: 11 Apr 2008 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #203

This from WIikipedia:
The noun Polack (/ˈpoʊlɑːk/ or /-læk/; also Pollack, Pollock, Polock), in the contemporary English language, is a derogatory reference to a person of Polish descent.[1] It is an Anglicisation of the Polish language word Polak, which can mean a Polish male person or a person of Polish nationality (feminine being Polka), with a neutral connotation. However, the English loanword "Polack" (note the spelling difference which does not appear in Polish) is considered an ethnic slur in the United States and the United Kingdom, and therefore is considered insulting in nearly all modern usages.

Slang: Disparaging and Offensive (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
Offensive Slang used as a disparaging term for a person of Polish birth or descent (The American Heritage Dictionary).

Germans also use the derisive term Pollacken (Pollacks) and go one step furtehr by creating a corresponding country: die Polackei (Pollackland).
Was it German immigrants to America who preceded the Poles that first introduced the term Pollack? Das weiß ich nicht.
(I know not.)
jon357 Activity: 53 / 10,847
Joined: 15 Mar 2012 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #204

@Sled¼
Why would you think "the Germans" made up U.S. Polish jokes (in English!) and why?

Btw, the idea that the word 'Polak' is derogatory is very much an American thing - in Europe we don't use the word (except of course when speaking Polish). So yes, blame it on the Americans if you want to.
Wulkan Activity: - / 3,168
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #205

Why would you think "the Germans" made up U.S. Polish jokes (in English!) and why?

Well, the other theory says that it Jews who made up those jokes, in my opinion Germans did it and why in English? Because we talk about certain Germans who emigrated to USA after second world war.
Polonius3 Activity: 982 / 11,697
Joined: 11 Apr 2008 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #206

Don't be so ahistorical. Now is not the centre of the universe -- it's but a fleeting moment in history. Owing to your total ignorance about US immigration history, let me clue you in. Germans were the largest non-English immigrant group long before the massive arrival of mid-19th century potato-famine Irish. In the early days ot he USA there was even talk of making German the official language. By the turn of the 20th century most German Americans were fully assimilated and spoke perfect American English. They retained their German surnames, certain foods and customs but also some of their Old World antipathies. During the World War I-era Polish insurrections in Großherzogtum Posen (Wielkopolska) and Schlesien (¦l±sk) they were naturally rooting for Germany. The term der Polacke (the Pole) had existed in German for quite some time and was originally generic and non-derisive. Also die Polackei was once a synonym for Poland. Only in time did they become pejorative. The N-word was once also strictly generic but it has come to be derogatory. The bottom line is that not etymology is important but how something is currently intended and perceived.
Harry Activity: 65 / 13,518
Joined: 2 May 2007 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #207

Btw, the idea that the word 'Polak' is derogatory is very much an American thing - in Europe we don't use the word

It's certainly not a derogatory word in this continent. I'm pretty sure there have been a couple of European posters here who have had the word in their usernames.
Polonius3 Activity: 982 / 11,697
Joined: 11 Apr 2008 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #208

You'll notice that Wikipedia includes your beloved UK in the equation:

"However, the English loanword 'Polack"'(note the spelling difference which does not appear in Polish) is considered an ethnic slur in the United States and the United Kingdom, and therefore is considered insulting in nearly all modern usages."

If you disagree, write a letter of complaint to the Wiki folks rather than cluttering up this forum.
Harry Activity: 65 / 13,518
Joined: 2 May 2007 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #209

If you disagree, write a letter of complaint to the Wiki folks

The problem with Wikipedia is that any moron can edit it and quite a few do.
As a European, I can safely say that to my fellow Europeans that word isn't derogatory, as is shown by the Europeans who have had the word in their usernames. Although I do understand that some of our guests from the USA are surprised to learn that.
sledz Activity: 23 / 2,280
Joined: 19 Sep 2006 ♂
 
17 May 2015  #210

Why would you think "the Germans" made up U.S. Polish jokes (in English!) and why?

The Nazi`s made up Polish jokes along with the Jewish ones. Sure some were made up here , but strictly an American thing, not true!

I hear Poles using the word Polock all the time, depending on its context it could be derogatory or not.

The other poster who made the accusation of Americans using it as the N word ( being racist) is insulting and dead wrong!

I could say something like why aren't there any Black people at the Polish bars and Festivals in Chicago?




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Is the term 'Polak' derogatory??
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