Chinese characters for Muslim and Jew offensive? LOL

Chinese words for Jews and Islam are demeaning

Ok, in this case I wish to object to the use of 美 mei3 to represent Americans, since it comprises 羊 yang2, ‘sheep’ atop 大 da4, ‘(man); big’. We are not just big sheep, dammit! :loco: Nor are we men surmounted by sheep! :stuck_out_tongue:

Just kidding; that’s not the real etymology of the graph. Rather, it appears to show a person with a big, feathery headdress. I feel so much better now. And swish-two-three-four! :stuck_out_tongue:

In reality, the earliest known uses of 猶, in the oracle bone writings of the late Shang Dyn. (ca. 3300 BP) were as a personal name or the name of a non-Shang state. These might have been phonetic loans of the name of some animal (the latter being my speculation, but not a big reach). But it was most likely not considered pejorative if it was being used as a personal name.

In stark contrast, the suggested replacement, 尤, you2, was a very negative word in the oracle bones, something to be avoided (exactly what is not clear); based on the original graph

Good gravy! This so-called “peace” group doesn’t have some wars they ought to run off and protest?? So far as I’ve heard, the use of offensive Chinese character radicals has not yet been cited as a reason for interfaith disharmony.

Muslim: You know, the plight of the Palestinians really bites my ass, but you know what really gets me? The use of the dog radical in the Chinese name for us.

Of course, I don’t have much doubt that the dog radical is meant to be offensive. The Taiping used to insert it constantly into words for groups they didn’t like.

However, I wouldn’t be offended. I like puppies. :wink:

Better than a freakin’ feathered hairdo! :laughing:

They used to use the same radical in most of the names of the aboriginal and non-Han tribes and those were only changed in the last 20 years or so I believe. What does that tell you?

I’ve always wondered whether dogs have a buddhist nature.

Or Daoist? As in the Dao of Dog Poo?

good to see that ancient traditions are still alive and strong in modern day Taiwan then… this still seems to be standard practice amongst modern day Taiwanese too… :laughing:


One day my calligraphy teacher, looking at my work in progress over my shoulder, gave a heavy sigh, and said (in Mandarin) only a 番邦人 fan1bang1ren2 would write characters like that. I knew it must be something bad. I reached into my backpack and pulled out my trusty ABC dictionary, at which point she said she hoped I couldn’t find it. I did. It means ‘barbarian’. :laughing: Ever since then, I have quite often referred to myself as 番邦人 fan1bang1ren2 (barbarian), usually to the chagrin of whatever local I’m talking to :smiley: .

So you didn’t get your money back? Or did you just grunt in agreement? :smiley:

Yes. The character 番 is used for things from outside of China… tomatos 番茄, sweet potatos 番薯, vassal states 番屬, etc…

Seems like this is a global issue when it comes to race and ethnicity. Personally, if that term is used – even if it is derogatory – then it should be included.

An online thesaurus struck a listing Monday for the word “Arab” after Arab-American groups complained the entry listed derogatory synonyms.

The entry, which appeared on, listed the word as a noun meaning “beggar,” and gave 16 pejorative synonyms including “homeless person” and “welfare bum.”

The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee contacted the synonym book’s online publisher Friday to complain about the entry; the American Arab Forum also criticized the listing on Monday.

“I looked it up and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Aref Assaf, president of the American Arab Forum, which is based in Paterson.

Several hours after Roget’s Thesaurus was called by The Associated Press, all entries for “Arab” had been pulled from the site.

Barbara Ann Kipfer, editor of the third edition of Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, said the entry had likely been on the site for years, but never made it into printed versions of the thesaurus.

“We’re simply going to take it out,” she said on Monday. “The last thing you want with a thesaurus is to offend anyone.”

Kipfer said an 18th-century term “street arab” had appeared in other thesauruses, referring to a homeless child who has been abandoned and roams through the streets.

Me Conan, rite good.

EDIT: I didn’t type right, I typed r-i-t-e. GOD I hate that stupid censor. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get rid of it!!! :fume:

Does it say what color of dog? Apparently, that makes all the difference.


yi1 hei1 er4 huang2 san1 hua1 si4 bai2

  1. black, 2. yellow, 3. spotted, 4. white
    Which color dogs make the best eating.
    Everyone here seems to know this one … s&&start=0

It’d be interesting to hear what the advocates of the term Taiwaner have to say about this :slight_smile:

I thought Muslim was Return Return as characters. I’ve always wondered the reason for those characters. Are there different characters for dust and dirt?

Me Conan, right good.

EDIT: I didn’t type right, I typed r-i-t-e. GOD I hate that stupid censor. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get rid of it!!! :fume:[/quote]

Sadly, being “corrected” by the Poster Patronising Machine is just another rite of passage in every Forumosan’s life. Perhaps one day we will find a chink in its armour…

Me Conan, right good.

EDIT: I didn’t type right, I typed r-i-t-e. GOD I hate that stupid censor. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get rid of it!!! :fume:[/quote]

Sadly, being “corrected” by the Poster Patronising Machine is just another right of passage in every Forumosan’s life. Perhaps one day we will find a Asian from China in its armour…[/quote]

Folks, we have a live one here.

回 is nowadays used for return, yes. But like myriads of other chars, it’s a phonetic loan, and originally meant something else. And yes, dust is now塵 or 灰塵 hui1chen2 and dirt/soil is 土, or 土壤 tu3rang3, why?

The either you’re sheep or you’re goats thing had me wondering. Turning to dust seems more positive than turning to dirt.

Someone correct me it I am wrong. The name “Hui 回” for Chinese moslems comes from the word “Huihe” - defined in the dictionary as “a nationality in ancient China” - to my mind obviously an ancient Chinese way of writing “Uigur” (now Weiwuer 維吾爾). The Hui (Chinese-speaking Moslems) are, according to Juba’s theory, the descendants of Uigurs and other moslems from Xinjiang (Chinese Turkestan) who intermarried with Han Chinese but retained their adherence to the Moslem faith. They also include the “lan mao (blue-cap) Huihui 藍帽回回” who are actually Chinese Jews. So “Huijiao 回教” means the religion of the Uigurs, which is indeed Islam. It doesn’t seem offensive or inappropriate in the slightest to me.




The Blue-Cap Huihui are Jews

In the tenth century AD, a group of Jews form the Middle East moved to Fujian, and then on to Hangzhou and Yangzhou, until they finally settled in Kaifeng in Henan Province. Six or seven hundred years later, some of them converted to Islam, and people called them “Blue-Cap Huihui”. A larger number of them became assimilated through intermarriage with Chinese people, so that the Jewish community ceased to exist. In the latter half of the 19th century, these Jews finally joined the ranks of the Chinese nation as “Blue-Cap Huihui”. Still some of the descendants of those Jews take their identity very seriously and insist that they are Jews. There are still more than a thousand such descendants of Jewish people in and around Kaifeng.