The transformation of language:Hajji to Hadji

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by S.A.M., Oct 21, 2008.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Are there any other instances of words that were transformed from their original harmless or respectful meanings and converted to derogatory terms?

    Source
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  2. Roman Banned Banned

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    No.
     
  3. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    What about nigger? Whats the origin of that word? Or redneck?
     
  4. spidergoat nameless monster Valued Senior Member

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    *igger derives from the French word for black.
     
  5. kevinalm Registered Senior Member

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    SAM,
    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".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Quest

    Using Hadji to refer brown skinned locals might not be, least in origin, quite as insulting as you might think.
     
  6. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Well sure. Guk is the Korean word for country, derived from ancient Chinese gwok, which is now Mandarin guo. Han guk is "Korea," so guk is used as an adjective or noun (Korean doesn't have the same parts of speech as English) for "countryman" or "national." During the Korean War, American soldiers became accustomed to hearing Koreans refer to each other as guk, and picked up the term. I don't know when it became derogatory because I was a little too young to pick up on it when the G.I.'s came back from Korea. But by the time of the Vietnam War, it had become a derogatory term for any East Asian ethnic group that was divided by a civil war in which we were participating, so that we couldn't tell friend from foe. Eventually it came to be a derogatory term for all East Asians.

    "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.
     
  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    So what do you suppose was that author's inspiration for using the word for a Muslim pilgrim to Mecca as the name of an Indian boy? It would be like using the word rabbi as a name.
    Muslim pilgrims still call themselves Hajjis too, and I am sure the Koreans call themselves guk as well. :p

    Yes, its quite amusing. Muslims would be flattered to be referred to as Hajji, since it is a term of veneration applied to elders [on the assumption that by this time they must have surely been to Mecca at least once].
     
  8. Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History! Valued Senior Member

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    *************
    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.
     
  9. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    Some examples off the top of my head, but they are not necessarily universally pejorative:

    mentality
    relativist/relative/ relativism
    cripple
    idiot, cretin
    concentration camp


    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:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphemism_treadmill#The_.22euphemism_treadmill.22
     
  10. Kadark Banned Banned

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    Are the two words pronounced the same way?


    Kadark
     
  11. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    It's similar as when a person calls themselves "silly" or "stupid" or some such (and the person themselves sees nothing wrong with that) as opposed to when someone else calls that person that way, and this someone does not have the trust of that person.

    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.
     
  12. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    That's the first thing I thought of when the word Hadji was mentioned.

    I thought the US soldiers used the word "Jawa's" for a slang term for Iraqis?
     
  13. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    That show is from the 70's. I bet the authors didn't even know that Haji is term for a Mecca pilgrim. I didn't know that until I read your OP. I would bet they just made up a name that sounded "Indian".
     
  14. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    So you think US troops are using the word because it reminds them of a 70s show?
     
  15. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    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.
     
  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    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.
     
  17. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    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: Oct 22, 2008
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    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?
     
  19. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    Not just US soldiers....pretty much all soldiers.

    Surely, Sam you are familiar with some of these terms. Why are you playing coy? :)
     
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    So what is the term Iraqi soldiers use for Americans?
     

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