List of ethnic group names used as insults  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

This is a list of nouns, used for name-calling in the English language, whose etymology goes back to the name of some, often historical or archaic, ethnic or religious group, but whose current meaning has lost that connotation and does not imply any actual ethnicity or religion.

Several of these terms are derogatory or insulting. The entries on this list should not be confused with "ethnic slurs" referring to a person's actual ethnicity, which have a separate list.

Apache
a Parisian gangster or thug (from the collective name Apache for several nations of Native Americans)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/apache (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Bohemian
a person with an unconventional artistic lifestyle (originally meaning an inhabitant of Bohemia; the secondary meaning may derive from an erroneous idea that the Roma people originate from Bohemia)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bohemian (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref> Not used as an insult in most circumstances.
Bugger
Synonymous with sodomite. From Middle English bougre, heretic, from Anglo-French bugre, from Medieval Latin Bulgarus, literally, Bulgarian; (from the association of Bulgaria with the Bogomils, who were accused of sodomy).<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bugger (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Cannibal
used descriptively for any human consuming human flesh (originally meaning Carib, erroneously thought to be cannibals)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cannibal (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Cohee 
(U.S.) originally (mid-18th century) – a Scots-Irish settler into the Virginia Piedmont; later (late 18th century) – a term for backwoodsman; hick, or most severely "poor white trash", especially on the frontier or in the Appalachian area; still later (post Civil War) – a self-referential indicating an independent backwoods small farmer in the West Virginia/Carolina/Tennessee/Kentucky area.<ref name=autogenerated1>James Kirke Paulding’s Letters from the South, written during an Excursion in the Summer of 1816. NY: James Eastburn (1817).</ref><ref name=autogenerated2>Elizabeth A. Perkins & John Dabney Shane's "Border Life: Experience and Memory in the Revolutionary Ohio Valley" University of North Carolina Press (May 1998), ISBN 0-8078-2400-3 .</ref>
Goth
a crude person, lacking culture or refinement; a somewhat obsolete term, in this sense not in reference to the Goth subculture (from the East Germanic tribe that sacked Rome in 410)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/goth (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Gringo
a foreigner; especially used disparagingly against North Americans and Europeans in Latin America. (from the Spanish word "griego", meaning Greek or possibly as a contraction of "green coat", representing the 19th century uniform of the US Army. In Roman days, foreigners were usually divided into Greeks and Barbarians. The use of the term Greek for something foreign or unintelligible can also be seen in the expression "it's Greek to me".)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/gringo (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Gyp
a swindler; a racehorse owner; in Britain also a male servant at a college—from Gypsy, which in turn is derived from Egyptian)
Hun
barbarous or destructive person; was also in used in World War I as an ethnic slur for the Germans (from the confederation of Eurasian tribes that first appeared in Europe in the 4th century, leading to mass migrations of Germanic tribes westward, and established an empire extending into Europe in the 5th century, partially financed by the plundering of wealthy Roman cities)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hun (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Jew
recorded by Webster's Dictionary since at least 19th century in the meanings to cheat, to defraud, to swindle
Nigger
Nigger is a noun in the English language, most notable for its usage in a pejorative context to refer to black people (generally people of Sub-Saharan African descent), and also as an informal slang term, among other contexts. It is a common ethnic slur. The word originated as a term used in a neutral context to refer to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, meaning the color "black".[1][2][3][4]
Philistine
a person who does not care about artistic and cultural values (from a people that inhabited Canaan when, according to the biblical account, the Israelites arrived)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/philistine (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Pygmy
a person of diminished stature (possibly in reference to certain hunter-gatherer peoples, such as the Mbuti of Central Africa, sometimes grouped together under the term Pygmies, but that designation actually stems from the original meaning of pygmy as an unusually small person)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pygmy (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Tartar
a violently ferocious person, a rather obsolete term (from the Turkic nomadic tribe of Tatars that invaded Europe in the 13th century, later generalized to any Mongolian or Turkic invaders of Europe)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tartar (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Thug
a gangster or ruffian ready to use excessive violence (from the religious Indian Thuggee cult, alleged to practice robbery and murder by strangulation)<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/thug (accessed: July 5, 2007).</ref>
Vandal
a person who willfully and maliciously destroys property (from the East Germanic tribe that sacked Rome in 455).<ref>Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vandal (accessed: July 5, 2007)</ref>

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