Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Offensive words for people according to nationality or ethnicity

black

noun

a black person. This word is sometimes considered offensive, so you should be very careful about using it.

colored

the American spelling of coloured1

coloured

noun

a black person

coolie

noun

an insulting word used in the past for a worker with no special skills in China, India, and other parts of Asia

dago

noun

an extremely offensive word for a person from Italy, Spain, Portugal, or South America

Eskimo

noun

a member of the Inuit people. This word is now sometimes considered offensive.

feringhee

noun

someone from a foreign country, especially a white person. This word is sometimes used as an insult.

frog

noun

an insulting word for a French person

gook

noun

a very offensive word for someone from Asia

goy

noun

someone who is not Jewish

gringo

noun

an insulting word used by some people from South America for someone from another country who speaks English, especially someone from the US

gypsy

noun

a Romany

half-breed

noun

an offensive word for a person who has parents of two different races, especially someone with one white parent and one Native American or black parent. A more polite expression is person of mixed race.

half-caste

noun

an offensive word for someone who has one white parent and one black parent. A more polite expression is person of mixed race.

honky

noun

an insulting word for a white person

Indian

noun

a Native American

Jerry

noun

an insulting word for a German

jock

noun

an insulting word for someone from Scotland

kafir

noun

a word meaning ‘non-believer’, used by some Muslims to describe someone who is not a Muslim

Kraut

noun

an insulting word for a German

mick

noun

an insulting word for an Irish person

mulatto

noun

an offensive word for someone who has one black parent and one white parent

native

noun

an offensive word for someone belonging to a group who lived in a place before Europeans arrived there

negress

noun

an offensive word for a black woman

negro

noun

a black person. This word is now considered offensive but until the second half of the 20th century it was an accepted word, used by black people as well as white.

nigger

noun

an extremely offensive word for a black person

non-white

adjective

used for describing people who are not considered to be members of the race of people who have pale skins. This word is usually considered offensive because it suggests that the white section of the population of the world is more important than any other.

oriental

noun

someone from eastern Asia, especially China or Japan. This word is now considered offensive.

Paddy

noun

an insulting word for an Irish person

pakeha

noun

a white person in New Zealand, especially someone whose family originally came from Europe

Paki

noun

an extremely offensive word for an Asian person

pickaninny

noun

a black child. This word is sometimes used by older white people but most people consider it offensive.

pom

noun

a pommy

pommy

noun

a slightly insulting word for someone from the UK, especially someone from England

Pygmy

noun

a member of a people who are of less than average height. Most Pygmies live in Central Africa or Southeast Asia. This word is now sometimes considered offensive.

Red Indian

noun

a Native American. This word is now considered to be offensive.

redskin

noun

an old word meaning a ‘Native American’

savage

adjective

an insulting way of describing someone or something from a culture that is not considered to be advanced. This is now considered offensive.

savage

noun

an insulting word for someone from a culture that is not considered to be advanced. This is now considered offensive.

spade

noun

a very offensive word for a black person

squaw

noun

an old word for a Native American woman. This is now considered offensive.

Taffy

noun

an insulting word for someone from Wales

Uncle Tom

noun

an insulting word for a black person who the speaker thinks shows too much respect for white people. This word is used especially by other black people.

WASP

noun

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: a word for people who are white and have money, power, and opportunities that other people do not have

wetback

noun

an offensive word for someone from Mexico who goes to live in the US

whitey

noun

an offensive word for a white person

wog

noun

an extremely offensive word for a black person

wog

noun

an extremely offensive word for a person from a Mediterranean country

wop

noun

an extremely offensive word for an Italian person

Yank

noun

an insulting word for someone from the US

Yankee

noun

someone from the US This word is often used as an insulting word for referring to an American by people who are not from the US

yid

noun

an extremely offensive word for a Jewish person

waspy

adjective

kabaddi

a game in which two teams of seven players take turns to chase and try to touch players on the opposing team

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Ouch!

a response to a scathing comment or unpleasant situation

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog