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Did you know uppity is a racist word?

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

  1. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    I refer you to post 122.
  2. Spiritwalkerness

    Spiritwalkerness Star commenter

    Surely, it's the noun that follows the word that will define whether it's racist or not?
  3. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    You'd think so, wouldn't you.
    The fact that it's been applied to white people as well doesn't seem to count where racism's concerned.
    border_walker, lanokia and needabreak like this.
  4. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    In my opinion, if someone used the word "uppity" towards a person of colour - of black/Afro-Caribbean/African decent/heritage/extraction, then it would clearly be a racist comment. Additionally, the intention WOULD have been to cause offence and hurt.
    Weald56 likes this.
  5. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Talk about tying yourself in knots.
  6. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    How would you know that? Are you saying that any criticism of a person with slightly different coloured skin to one's own is racist?

    If I used the word uppity to anyone it would not be racist because I don't see it as having anything to do with race. If the person decided to take offence and deem it racist there's not much I can do about that.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  7. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    Kandahar likes this.
  8. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    Has no black person ever been uppity?
    border_walker likes this.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Jamvic likes this.
  10. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    You sound like my Mum talking about coloured people.
  11. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    The ones who sat in the wrong seats on the bus were.
  12. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    No. They were offity.
  13. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter


    I'm pretty sure you're not allowed to say 'coloured people' any more, whether you meant to quote your mum or were using the phrase yourself. Somebody might take offence. And it would be your fault. At least that seems to be the modern approach to everything.

    One of the things I'm proud of is that I don't take offence. Mostly I don't even notice if people are being nasty to me even if they're really blunt about it. But actually I think most people are not being nasty most of the time, and going round looking for things to be offended about is not a very positive way to be. I can see that if a person shares a characteristic with a group of people who were historically treated badly then they might have associated bad feelings, especially if it's not all that historical or has actually happened to them. But that still doesn't mean that everything that could possibly taken as offensive was ever meant that way.

    I have severe OCD. I'm not that impressed when people describe themselves as being 'a bit OCD' because they like their shelves to be in order or keep their kitchen clean. That is very far from OCD. But I'm not going to take offence or think that they deliberately meant to joke about my disability. I can see that it's an error, a mistake or a misunderstanding that was not meant to offend.
    Kandahar likes this.
  14. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    have any of us ever been downity?
  15. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Well, I suppose even doctors and bosses can act like they have a higher status than the patient or employee is willing to accord them. But when your mum called you "uppity" she wasn't just telling you off for being irritating. She was telling you to know your place.

    Yes, "https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/uppity
    "An uppity person behaves in an unpleasant way because they think that they are more important than they really are"

    Also https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uppity
    "putting on or marked by airs of superiority: ARROGANT, PRESUMPTUOUS

    Also https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/uppity
    1 Presumptuous, above oneself, self-important; arrogant, snobbish, haughty
    2 Exceeding one's station or position, assuming prerogatives to which one is not entitled
    Fanciful extension of up +‎ -y(-denoting a state or quality). First attested in Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris to describe Jack Sparrer (Jack Sparrow) who tattled on Br'er Rabbit
    Usage notes:This term has been used in a racist context to describe African-Americans who were considered to be acting above their "rightful place".

    I note that the wiktionary.org page was last edited only a few days ago so the reference to African-Americans may have been added then, but it is nevertheless true.

    All of these definitions include reference to exceeding perceived status

    From https://nancyfriedman.typepad.com/away_with_words/2008/09/word-of-the-week-uppity.html
    "Having grown up in the South, I've always known (or felt) that "uppity" is derogatory when used to describe an African American. The term "uppity n*****" definitely rings in my ears when I hear the word."
    But also
    "Are your innocent interviewees under the age of 30? Perhaps the term has lost its sting among the young, but anyone of a certain age will immediately know "uppity" as a racist term with a very sharp edge, almost always combined with the N-word lest anyone miss the point."
  16. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I often accuse senior management of being uppity when they advise me how to teach my subject which they know nothing about. Literally nothing.
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Mother wasn't being racist. That's a call based on US terminology, we aren't in the USA just like my homely comment wasn't meant to insult my aunt.

    Is the Royal from the Southern States? I wouldn't know... Has Holmes used the phrase to other non white people before? I'm pretty sure he has. Have his employers apologised? Yes. Nice to see the Royalists here supporting her to be fair. I expected the republicans/socialists here not to care... She represents the wealthy elite after all.
    Kandahar likes this.
  18. simplyme2

    simplyme2 New commenter

    NOw you are being uppity suggesting educated people don't know anything about other school subjects. Of course they do or could/ Plus SLT don't usually tell teachers how to teach their subject. HODs do that.
  19. simplyme2

    simplyme2 New commenter

    Could we change uppity to cup a tea please as it is getting tedious. Time for a cuppa tea.
    needabreak, Jamvic and Doitforfree like this.
  20. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    This is exactly the way I use the word, and hear the word used, on a day to day basis

    sadly, we have a deputy head who regularly displays blinding ignorance about our subject, , and yet feels qualified to tell us how to teach it.

    his instructions are ridiculous and can't work, yet he insists on imposing them anyway.

    hence staff of with stress, and him being called uppity daily.
    border_walker likes this.

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