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!
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!
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