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Did you know uppity is a racist word?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Corvuscorax, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

  2. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    You do now!
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    It isn't.

    It means putting on or marked by airs of superiority: arrogant, presumptuous.

    Nothing racist about that, in essence.

    It can have racist connotations when applied in a racist context. Whether Eamonn Holmes was doing that when talking about Meghan Markle I don't know, but I suspect not.

    "Arrogant" and "presumptuous" can have racist connotations when applied in a racist context too.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Googled it.

    Seems someone [Eamon Holmes] used it when referring to Meghan Markle.
    sparklepig2002 likes this.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I have used it occasionally (not to their faces) to describe some kids and adolescents. Just so happens they've all been white.
    border_walker and needabreak like this.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    "I can confirm that it absolutely is not"
  7. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I have always interpreted it as a class put down as in someone not accepting their place class wise and taking on their 'betters"...as "betters" is a word in a similar vein. I have never really associated it with any racist aspect.
  8. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Uppity has a long history of racist usage, especially when paired with the N word or directed at a PoC.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's definitely pejorative. I prefer cheeky or insolent to describe those who I consider to be over-reaching in childhood but even those are unlovely adjectives.

    I no longer use uppity. I am sure it is used as a racial slur but only by racists. Non-racists use it too.
    phlogiston likes this.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Here's the etymology

    But that does not mean that somebody who uses it right now is a racist.

    Besides which, I never knew that individual words in themselves were racist,
    Just people.

    This article sums up the origin, presumably, of what is likely to snowball into another news nothing about identity politics and equality and the royal family and celebrity love island and other non thinking sorts of distracted and irrelevant outrage

    meanwhile the economy crumbles.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  11. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    So do the words dirty and lazy and no doubt a host of others too. Are they all 'racist' words?
  12. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    No. Uppity is particular and not an everyday word.
  13. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    uppity is a very everyday word
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes, I did know that.

    Only in certain usage though and not in the common everyday usage
    install likes this.
  15. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    And was he using the word suggest that she was getting ideas above her skin shade? Or that she was getting ideas above her station?

    I might well use the phrase 'getting uppity' about someone and that it might have racist origins or be used in a racist manner would never even occur to me.

    Word meanings have origins but meanings change over time with usage in different contexts. 'Naughty' at one time meant evil, but now it simply means misbehaving. 'Wicked' meant thoroughly bad, in my lifetime; now to a younger generation it means the opposite.

    We can choose to be purists about word meanings and origins - like Rees Mogg did when he pointed out that something was not a shambles because it wasn't actually a butchers' alley where animals were slaughtered... or we can be sensible about language and not use it to try and score points, or push an agenda - something feminists did a lot of in the '70's which resulted in arguments over phrases like 'manhole cover' for instance.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  16. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter


    Attached Files:

    speechcompanyinfo, xmal and sbkrobson like this.
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Uppity is one of those intermediate cases: The basic meaning is devoid of any racist connotations while a derived meaning, known mostly to a segment of American English speakers (and to many among them, I suspect only vaguely) is a dismissive reference to black people.
    install, Jamvic, needabreak and 2 others like this.
  18. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    I seem to recall the context was regarding her imperious treatment of her staff, which had resulted in dismissals and general upset. I didn't regard it as racist. You can be any colour and be high-handed, out of your depth and a poor manager.
  19. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I honestly don't think @monicabilongame was seriously suggesting Holmes was using the word to say Markle was getting ideas above her skin shade!
    Jamvic likes this.
  20. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Its pretty stupid to use the word "uppity" to refer to a PoC. It's obviously going to be viewed as racist.
    sadscientist likes this.

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