You should read this. No, really, you must

Apparently “shirt lifter” is highly offensive now.

69 thoughts on “You should read this. No, really, you must”

  1. The Inimitable Steve

    That’s bollocks. “Tranny” isn’t offensive. It’s just short for transvestite. Also a radio.

    And what the buggering arsemonkey is a “chi chi man”?

  2. The Inimitable Steve

    Never really liked the term “shirt lifter”. Dunno why. Maybe it’s just a bit too northern comic for my refined tastes.

    Poofter is a good British word. You can imagine Prince Philip using it.

    Faggot is one of them American imports. Generally I avoid using those, but then the magnificent Milo made faggot great again.

  3. The Inimitable Steve

    To be fair none of these words generate as much outrage as when your wife asks you to watch the kids and you call it babysitting.

  4. I was a bit surprised by “bint” being in there. It’s Arabic for ‘daughter’ or ‘girl’.

    Cultural appropriation, probably…

  5. “Tranny” isn’t offensive. It’s just short for transvestite. Also a radio.

    And the venerable Ford Transit van…

  6. ‘Shirt lifter’ is offensive _now_? It was offensive decades ago. When has it ever _not_ been offensive?

    TIS>

    The document does say context is important. ‘Tranny’ is increasingly being used as a term of abuse these days.

    ‘Chi chi man’ is a very, very nasty term for a gay man – a ‘chi chi’ is a termite or other small burrowing pest.

  7. Queen Liz I banned use of strong language, to wit Papist and Protestant. I suppose she preferred Roman and Reformer.

  8. The Inimitable Steve

    And the venerable Ford Transit van…

    Zackly Dave.

    ‘Tranny’ is increasingly being used as a term of abuse these days.

    That’s mongtarded, other Dave. Unlike genuinely offensive terms such as “jobby jabber”, “knob jockey”, or “chocolate starfish whisperer”, “tranny” is purely descriptive.

    If people use it in a derogatory sense, it’s because they don’t like what the word describes. What’s next – trying to ban the word “ginger”?

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    NiV – “Cultural appropriation, probably…”

    A legacy of the British occupation of Egypt I believe.

    Dave – “‘Shirt lifter’ is offensive _now_? It was offensive decades ago. When has it ever _not_ been offensive?”

    But of course we didn’t give a sh!t about a trivial minority before they made a lot of friends and the Establishment started taking their sides against the majority.

    “The document does say context is important. ‘Tranny’ is increasingly being used as a term of abuse these days.”

    Which is the problem. As long as what we are describing is obviously disturb and generally contemptible, terms used to describe them will be derogatory. This is obvious. You can ban all the words you like, the euphemisms you replace them with will become terms of abuse in their turn. Look at “Special Needs”.

    “‘Chi chi man’ is a very, very nasty term for a gay man – a ‘chi chi’ is a termite or other small burrowing pest.”

    You are thinking of chiggers? It is more likely that it is related to the word Chic and/or is onomatopoeic. It is a common Latin American nick name as with Chi Chi Rodriguez. Chi Chi was also a character in Scarface for those that remember the classics. The only one to survive I dimly remember.

  10. Tranny’ is increasingly being used as a term of abuse these days

    As in Emily Thornbury “look at those thick racist white tranny van driving flag waving plebs…?”

  11. It’s also an old term used for a transistor radio.

    People pick up the meaning and intent of words from the way they’re used. People using the term ‘tranny’ mostly *intend* it to be offensive – whether its original meaning is or not. ‘Nigger’ was originally an abbreviation of ‘negro’ which is just the Latin word for ‘black’. Purely descriptive, but intentionally *made* offensive by the way it was used.

    The ‘right to give offence’ that goes with free speech would be of little use if there were no words with which to do so.

  12. SMFS>

    Thankyou for confirming that those terms are offensive.

    “It is more likely that it is related to the word Chic and/or is onomatopoeic. It is a common Latin American nick name as with Chi Chi Rodriguez.”

    It’s a Caribbean phrase. Most of the Caribbean is not Latin speaking. There’s no doubt it comes from Jamaican slang for termites, since the word is in common use over there (for the insects).

  13. Couldn’t help noticing the internet address…

    Anyone who uses the term “stakeholder” in any context outside of holding a stake in their hand is, by definition, an asshole and a fool.

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “It’s a Caribbean phrase. Most of the Caribbean is not Latin speaking. There’s no doubt it comes from Jamaican slang for termites, since the word is in common use over there (for the insects).”

    It may come as a surprise to you but none of the Caribbean is Latin speaking. But much of it is Spanish speaking. There is a Spanish influence right across the Caribbean either by first settlement or by immigration.

    There is a lot of doubt. At least in these parts. If you have evidence, let’s hear it.

    The Russian word for Gays means “light blue”. As I pointed out, there is nothing that cannot be abusive if the subject is inherently “deserving” of abuse.

  15. SMFS>

    Why don’t you look up what ‘Latin speaking’ means, before making a fool of yourself like that again?

    The simple fact is that this is a word where the etymology is well established. I have no idea why you’re trying so hard to argue otherwise. What bothers you so much about the conventional explanation?

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “Why don’t you look up what ‘Latin speaking’ means, before making a fool of yourself like that again?”

    OK. I just looked it up. Latin speaking means someone who speaks Latin. There is no native Latin speaking population in America. There is a Latin population but they speak Romance languages.

    “The simple fact is that this is a word where the etymology is well established. I have no idea why you’re trying so hard to argue otherwise. What bothers you so much about the conventional explanation?”

    Because you claim it. Therefore it must not be true. If it is well establish it, document it.

  17. SMFS>

    Jeez, there’s nothing as stupid as a racist mouthbreather. ‘Latin speaking’ countries are countries where they speak the Latinate languages. If you highlight ‘Latin speaking countries’ and Google it, you’ll find the world explaining to you why you’re wrong yet again.

    “If it is well establish it, document it.”

    You do have access to Google, right? Google the phrase, plus ‘etymology’. Then google ‘chi chi’ alone. You are literally the only person disputing this.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “Jeez, there’s nothing as stupid as a racist mouthbreather.”

    And yet you continue to get schooled.

    “‘Latin speaking’ countries are countries where they speak the Latinate languages. If you highlight ‘Latin speaking countries’ and Google it, you’ll find the world explaining to you why you’re wrong yet again.”

    No you won’t. I just did. Google corrected me and sent me to “Romance speaking Europe”. Because, obviously, you are wrong. For instance, who did not say “I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn’t study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.”?

    “You do have access to Google, right? Google the phrase, plus ‘etymology’. Then google ‘chi chi’ alone. You are literally the only person disputing this.”

    I do indeed. So I did. From the first link

    English
    Etymology

    From French chichi
    Pronunciation

    IPA(key): /ˈʃi.ʃi/

    Adjective

    chichi ‎(not comparable)

    affectedly trendy; chic and stylish

    “Going in gangs to those chichi clubs at Maidenhead.” –E. Taylor, Game of Hide-&-Seek
    “Whether the chichi gender theorists like it or not, sexual duality is a law of nature among all highly evolved life forms.” –Camille Paglia
    “The sort of real delicious Italian country cooking that is a revelation after so much chichi Italian food dished up in London.”–Daily Telegraph, January 22, 1969
    “[Judith] Hope — who lives in East Hampton, where the Clintons have a lot of chichi friends — has been getting ink by the barrelful with her regular interviews quoting conversations with the first lady, on subjects ranging from Senate ambitions to summer and post-White House living arrangements.” –Washington Post, June 4, 1999

    French
    Etymology

    Probably related to chiche with a sense of “small thing”
    Pronunciation

    IPA(key): /ʃi.ʃi/

    Noun

    chichi m ‎(plural chichis)

    affected manners, demanding behaviour

    Faire des chichis à propos de rien…

    something showy

    les Américains, qui s’apprêtent à prendre la succession de la civilisation, n’en sont encore au stade que du faux luxe et du brillant et du chichi des empaquetages en papier de cellophane. (Blaise Cendrars, Bourlinguer, 1948)

    So nothing to do with Jamaican insects at all.

  19. I have never heard or heard or a lot of these terms but I was astomished to find some people thought that ‘hon’ was the same as hun. Only slightly more astonished that the people who do proclaimed themselves as experts who want to tell us what we can or cannot say because it is offensive.
    Also the NAACP is now an offensive term,

  20. So Much For Subtlety

    john77 – “Also the NAACP is now an offensive term”

    I did like Benedict Whatshisname getting into hot water for referring to coloured people instead of the obviously superior and more sensitive people of color.

    In the end this is all about bullying normal people and nothing else. That is why the term has to keep changing. Once we have got used to a new term, we have to be berated for using it because it is racist. And because, of course, as long as African Americans behave like African Americans do, any term of describe African Americans will be tainted by that African American behaviour.

  21. @ SMFS
    Ah, “color” now means some thing different from “colour” which includes pink, yellow and red.

  22. BiW:
    Bwahahaha….

    TI Steve:
    I agree about ‘shirtlifter’, but ‘pillow biter’ always strikes me as quite graphic and ‘uphill gardener’ is almost poetic.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    Theophrastus – “I agree about ‘shirtlifter’, but ‘pillow biter’ always strikes me as quite graphic and ‘uphill gardener’ is almost poetic.”

    Isn’t “pillow biter” from the infamous Rinka trial? When Norman Scott claimed he was handled so roughly by Jeremy Thorpe he had to bite the proverbial pillow?

    Does it date back any further than that?

  24. Jap: Strong language, generally unacceptable. Seen as derogatory to Japanese people when used as an
    insult. Some found it acceptable when used as simple shorthand for ‘Japanese’.

    My first-year college roommate was the son of Japanese immigrants, and would frequently refer to his Japanese comics & animated shows as “his Jap stuff”. I remember my mother being shocked when I said the same thing.

    I did like Benedict Whatshisname getting into hot water for referring to coloured people instead of the obviously superior and more sensitive people of color.

    As a white person (well, pinkish-orange), I always secretly hoped that we could get the term “person of pallor” into common parlance.

  25. Jap: Strong language, generally unacceptable. Seen as derogatory to Japanese people when used as an
    insult. Some found it acceptable when used as simple shorthand for ‘Japanese’.

    Rightho, back to using ‘Nip’ then. Shorthand for ‘Nippon’, so no offence, what?

  26. A few of these terms turn up in the Travellers’ Tool, written by Sir Les Patterson, which is highly recommended as a non PC read.

    I offer battyman from Jamaica, use of which I seem to remember got some singer banned from touring the UK?

    Rather archaic but I also loved Clarkson saying on TV a bridge had a bit of a slope on it when an Asian man was also walking across.

    I’ve always wondered why Paki is so offensive when it is a straight abbreviation of the first letters of the country, much like Brit?

  27. Bonfire the entire document and look forward to the day that the middle-class CM scum who created it will be ruined in the gutter.

  28. SMFS: From French chichi

    Indeed. That’s always the way I understood it, and given that chichi was used that way in France when I grew up lo these many years ago I see no reason to doubt it now. Nearest English equivalent would be “light in his loafers,” as far as I’m concerned.

  29. light in his loafers is just lovely

    we’re going to have to go back to increasingly old historic euphemisms (so most people will not know what they mean) to be able to describe certain people without resorting to blunt and inelegant medical terminology or risk being locked up

  30. The Russian word for Gays means “light blue”.

    In German it was warmer Bruder. Maybe still, I don’t know. My grandmother, from whom I learned the term (provided with the requisite opprobrium), is sadly deceased. And in Italian it’s finocchio, which is also insulting only in that context. Otherwise, it means “fennel.” Go figure.

    Ah, the benefits of growing up in a polyglot family. So many ways to insult people.

  31. we’re going to have to go back to increasingly old historic euphemisms

    Yes, or as I allude to above, use the transliteration of an expression that is an insult in another language. E.g., Milo is such a fennel.

  32. From the section on gestures:
    WTF’s an “Iberian Slap” & why’s it “Less problematic in a humorous context.”?
    Colour me mystified.

  33. And since when was “dago” insulting to Italians? When I insult my d…Spanish neighbours I want them to know they’ve been insulted. Not some wop down the road.

  34. Hedgehog, SMFS>

    Are you seriously suggesting that Jamaican patois has taken the word from French, rather than from the word in their patois that means termite? Get a grip.

    Hedgehog>

    You might like to note that you’re agreeing with a person who thinks Latin America is so-called because people speak Latin there. Candidly, SMFS is probably Ritchie trolling us.

    Cayleygraph>

    ‘Jap’ is highly offensive in America, where its Second World War history is a problem. We’re very slowly importing that attitude, but for now it’s still normal for Japanese car parts shops here to be called things like Jap-Parts.

  35. How priceless. Ipsos-Mori hang out at Thomas More Square. Can’t think of anywhere more appropriate.

  36. “Are you seriously suggesting that Jamaican patois has taken the word from French, rather than from the word in their patois that means termite? Get a grip.”

    Seeing, Dave, as how much French Creoles (creole itself being a french word) are spoken in the Caribbean, it’s highly probable. Do you know where the word for the termite derivates?

  37. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Can you imagine the committee meetings where this document was hashed out? What must the minutes have been like? “Mr. Glossop moved that ‘rectum ranger’, ‘arse bandit’ and ‘chutney ferret’ be moved to the post-watershed list, whereas ‘poof’ be allowed pre-watershed. Committee debated the proposal. Motion carried nem. con. by a show of hands.”

    They should have had Roger’s Profanisaurus in the bibliography.

  38. BraveFart: and is the standard method of forming the English demonymic adjective from the English names of the ‘stan countries.
    Afgani//stan -> Afgani
    Uzbeki//stan -> Uzbeki
    Turkmeni//stan -> Turkmeni
    Tajiki//stan -> Tajiki
    Kyrgyz//stan -> Kyrgyzi
    Kazakh//stan -> Kazahki
    so…
    Pakistan -> ????
    -stan simply means ‘land’, and -i simply means ‘peoples’.

  39. @jgh: & yet ‘Paki’ was (and surely still is) a term of abuse. I think it harks back to SMFS’s comment about a normal term becoming pejorative through useage.

    Bet some Ipsos-Mori person’s looked at that list and thought, “shit, we forgot Paki…”

  40. Dave: What I’m saying is that I have no difficulty understanding chichi as a term for homosexuals since it was used that way in France quite a long time ago. And elsewhere, too, apparently:

    From The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English:

    chi-chi (adjective):
    1 homosexual (UK)
    From the conventional usage denoting a fussy style
    “The rest of the gay world migrated to the chi-chi bars of the newly gay Soho” (Guardian, p.15, May 2002)
    “The chi-chi camp boys are flouncing petulantly up and down like they’ve got lost on the way to a Pop Idol audition” (Attitude, p. 34, October 2003)

    Whether the Jamaicans got it from the French or from the British usage as documented in the New Partridge Dictionary (a usage which, by the way, refers to the French connotation of chi-chi as fussy, so we’re back to square 1) is irrelevant.

    The Dictionary of Jamaican English defines the origin of chichi thus: prob from some African form indicating small size.

    So here’s my question: is it more likely that Jamaicans refer to homosexuals as chichi because they’re small (like termites) or because in a bunch of languages (French and English come to mind) they’re called chi-chi?

  41. Pointed out this before:
    The Pakistan High Commissioner’s car was running round London for years. May still be doing so, far as I know. With PAK1 as a number plate.

  42. And “polack” as demeaning to Poles when the Polish word for a singular male of that proud republic is: “polak”!

  43. As for “window licker”, the only person who I know who was daft enough to lick a window chose to lick a window at the top of the Empire State Building on a freezing day and thereby became fused to the world’s tallest building at the time.

    She is now a professor of Maths at Oxford, DBE, FRS and former Chair of the London Mathematical Society.

  44. “I like Faggots, I like to fry them in a nice hot pan…
    yes, those nice Faggots wrapped in bacon that you can get in Waitrose!”

  45. SMFS

    “Does it date back any further than that?”

    I seem to recall ‘pillow-biter’ being used at my boarding school in the late 60s. But you may well be right, as my memory is not reliable about such things.

  46. I like the way that the debate about Spurs’ use of “Y&d” is mentioned. The only person who complained about it AFAIK was David Baddiel who didn’t like us using it as a badge of pride and admiration but strangely went Wenger blind to his own teams fans making gas chamber hissing noises(allegedly).

  47. It may be stating the obvious, but the comments on the right do not reflect the objective level of offensiveness of the terns on the left, but rather the extent to which certain parties may take offence.

    Hence “gay” is deemed to be unabusive, whereas pouf and queer are fairly offensive, but then again, in the view of the authors perhaps not as offensive because gays/poufs/queers use the terms about themselves, while “shirt lifter”, a fairly inocuous term on its face (at least there are probably quite a few others that are far more graphic) is deemed offensive because gays/poufs/queers do not use the term to describe themselves,

  48. So Much For Subtlety

    Dave – “Are you seriously suggesting that Jamaican patois has taken the word from French, rather than from the word in their patois that means termite? Get a grip.”

    Given its English usage, why wouldn’t it come to Jamaican English via normal English? You seem to have constructed a large theory based on no evidence at all. So a usual day at the office for you.

    “You might like to note that you’re agreeing with a person who thinks Latin America is so-called because people speak Latin there. Candidly, SMFS is probably Ritchie trolling us.”

    No. You think that Latin America is called Latin America because Latin is spoken there. Your comments are right there, a few short posts upthread. As I keep saying, Latin people, Romance languages.

    I continue to assume you are Ironman who needs to abandon his self-beclowned ID for a new one.

  49. So Much For Subtlety

    jgh – “and is the standard method of forming the English demonymic adjective from the English names of the ‘stan countries. Afgani//stan -> Afgani”

    Actually it is more complex than that. An Afghan comes from Afghanistan but a lot of people from Afghanistan are not Afghans – that is, Pashtuns. So you could sat Afghanistani. Which we don’t. We just use Afghan indiscriminately. But we do with some other Stans. A bare majority of the population of Kazakhstan is Kazakh. But you can say that a Russian from Kazakhstan is Kazakhstani. Although I would advise simply avoiding them all together because all the Russians from Kazakhstan I know are insane. Especially the women.

    “Uzbeki//stan -> Uzbeki”

    Uzbek is the ethnic group. Why would you add the i?

    “-stan simply means ‘land’, and -i simply means ‘peoples’.”

    Not really. The “-i” is the Persian possessive. An Afghani is someone or something that belongs to the Afghans.

  50. So Much For Subtlety

    john malpas – “sooner or later you’all will be speaking mandarin. That will solve everything.”

    Optimist

  51. So Much For Subtlety

    Alex – “It may be stating the obvious, but the comments on the right do not reflect the objective level of offensiveness of the terns on the left, but rather the extent to which certain parties may take offence.”

    As I said, the purpose is to bully normal people. So the terms have to keep changing as normal people, being generally very polite, keep changing their language to reflect what the Left wants. Or to take one step further back, the problem is that a lot of dysfunctional weirdos who clusters for protection under the shelter of the Left, think their problem is too much honesty from normal people. So the solution is to bully normal people into changing rather than face the fact that their problems are entirely self inflicted.

    See transsexuals, Gays, Muslims, Paul Mason, whatever.

  52. ‘Jap’ is highly offensive in America, where its Second World War history is a problem. We’re very slowly importing that attitude, but for now it’s still normal for Japanese car parts shops here to be called things like Jap-Parts.

    As a person who has lived in America all his life (I’m still there, in fact) I can assure you that it is not highly offensive in America. I assume it was highly offensive in America, as indicated by my mother’s reaction (she, too, lived in America all her life, and still does last I heard), as well as some of the fiction from the time that I’ve read. It’s probably still somewhat offensive, as indicated by my mother’s reaction and its presence on a list of words for TV shows to avoid. However, it is not currently “highly” offensive.
    This is one of the problems with cultivating a highly-refined palate for offense: You have to keep updating your tastes, because many people have better things to do than learning the things that are supposed to offend them.

  53. But you can say that a Russian from Kazakhstan is Kazakhstani.

    The term is Kazakh, and no way you could call an ethnic Russian who is a Kazakh citizen a Kazakh.

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