10-21-08, 12:34 PM #1
The transformation of language:Hajji to HadjiThe term "hadji" (also sometimes spelled "haji" or "hajji") is the Arabic word for someone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, it has become a common slang term used to describe the locals.
According to a dictionary of war slang compiled by GlobalSecurity.org, the term is "used by the American military for an Iraqi, anyone of Arab decent, or even of a brownish skin tone, be they Afghanis, or even Bangladeshis" and is also "the word many soldiers use derogatorily for the enemy."
Related terms include "haji mart" (a small store operated by Iraqis) or "haji patrol" (Iraqi soldiers).
"Hadji Girl" tells the story of a soldier "out in the sands of Iraq / And we were under attack". Adding to the tenderness of this song, which, according to Marine Times, the high command has apparently forbidden Belile to record, is the fact that “hadji” is a racist term, the new slur for Arabs and Muslims, Iraq war vet Aiden Delgado explained on blackcommentator.com. “It is used extensively in the military,” he said, “. . . with the same kind of connotation as ‘gook,’ ‘Charlie’ or the n-word. Official Army documents now use it in reference to Iraqis or Arabs. It’s real common.” He also said of his Army training: “We sang in cadences. And the chants had anti-Arab themes. Like burning turbans, killing ragheads.”
Last edited by S.A.M.; 10-21-08 at 01:15 PM.
10-21-08, 12:42 PM #2
10-21-08, 12:43 PM #3
10-21-08, 12:44 PM #4
10-21-08, 01:26 PM #5
This may interest you. If you say Hadji to most Americans, this is what will most likely come to mind. Scroll down to the "cast of characters".
Using Hadji to refer brown skinned locals might not be, least in origin, quite as insulting as you might think.
10-21-08, 01:26 PM #6
"Wop" is derived from the Italian word guapo, which means "handsome." (Spanish has the same word.) I'm not sure if it's Sicilian dialect or just a mangled American pronunciation.
There's disagreement over the origin of the term "Redneck," but one faction traces it back to the era of the recolonization of Northern Ireland by Scots, who themselves are descendants of 7th-8th century Irish colonists. (Scoti was the Latin word for "Irishmen.") After the Reformation, the English occupied Ireland and imposed the Church of England as the official religion. Scottish Presbyterian immigrants formed an unlikely alliance with Irish Catholics to fight against the occupation, and the resulting Celtic Melting Pot became the Scots-Irish community, the source of a major wave of immigrants to America. In battles against the English army, the insurgents had identified themselves with red neckerchiefs, and that's one hypothesis for the origin of the term Redneck. (There are others.)
In any case, "Redneck" is not uniformly pejorative in American speech. Many Southern people use the name with pride, as in Gretchen Wilson's immensely popular song, "Redneck Woman." It's like "Yankee": people to whom the name applies regard it as descriptive and inoffensive, while their enemies use it as an insult.
10-21-08, 01:35 PM #7
In any case, "Redneck" is not uniformly pejorative in American speech. Many Southern people use the name with pride, as in Gretchen Wilson's immensely popular song, "Redneck Woman." It's like "Yankee": .
people to whom the name applies regard it as descriptive and inoffensive, while their enemies use it as an insult
10-21-08, 01:47 PM #8
M*W: I was always under the impression that "n*gger" came from "Negro" and/or "Niger" meaning someone from Africa. I don't think it originally started out as a bad word any more than "redneck" started out as a bad connotation. "Redneck" was slang for a farmer who was out in the sun all day, therefore, someone having a red neck.
The same goes for the word "bitch." Back in the day when anyone called a woman a "bitch," they were referring to her as a dog in heat; a woman who was more than just sexually active. Today, when you hear the word "bitch," it is far more tame. To say a woman is a "bitch" is like saying she's hard to get along with or that she's self-serving.
Words and their definitions change over time depending on the evolution of their usages.
What I don't understand is the use of the word "n*gger." Blacks call each other that epithet all the time, but if we refer to a Black person as a "n*gger," all hell breaks loose. I would think it is just as insulting for a Black to call another Black a "n*gger." If we're going to get that word out of our vocabulary, that should apply to Blacks, too.
10-21-08, 01:50 PM #9
Some examples off the top of my head, but they are not necessarily universally pejorative:
Also, here's an interesting article in Wikipedia about euphemisms and other words and how they can work their way into having a negative meaning:
10-21-08, 01:51 PM #10
10-21-08, 01:55 PM #11
Negative criticism within the ingroup tends to be seen as normal, not viewed negatively. But negative criticism coming from the outgroup tends to be seen as offensive.
10-21-08, 03:35 PM #12
10-21-08, 03:38 PM #13
10-21-08, 03:42 PM #14
So you think US troops are using the word because it reminds them of a 70s show?
10-21-08, 03:46 PM #15
I was just referring to where the term for Americans came from. They are just borrowing the name from the show as a negative derogatory for Iraqs or others.
10-21-08, 03:57 PM #16
Ah, so they are borrowing the name of an Indian kid in a 70s show because this will be insulting to Iraqis?
But its not insulting to Iraqis, they will be happy to be called Hajis.
10-21-08, 04:00 PM #17
No..because Hadji in the show wore a turbine. And we Americans are too dumb to know the difference between an Iraqi and an Indian. Soldiers always come up with names for who they are fighting.
Edit: Hadji did not wear a turbine engine on his head me and my spelling
Last edited by MacGyver1968; 10-21-08 at 10:21 PM.
10-21-08, 04:02 PM #18
Are there other examples of soldiers coming up with such names? Fraggle has given some examples of US soldiers in other wars. I think Germans were called Jerries? What was the origin of that one?
10-21-08, 04:09 PM #19
Not just US soldiers....pretty much all soldiers.
Surely, Sam you are familiar with some of these terms. Why are you playing coy?
10-21-08, 04:10 PM #20
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