Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hair?

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by ajapale, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

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    Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hair?

    To me "Ginger" is a sort of cross between yellow and brown. I think this is usgage has crept in from England where it is largely an offensive pejorative term of abuse.

    It doesnt properly describe the colour of hair prevalent in Ireland which is closer to Orange.

    The terms "red head" and "foxy" while capable of being used in an offensive manner are at least accurate in terms of colour.
     
  2. mathepac

    mathepac Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    It seems to have both racist (in connection with Irish / Scotch people) and homophobic (rhyming slang "ginger beer") connotations and has crept in here via two generations educated exclusively via internet chav culture, Heat magazine, tabloid newspapers and satellite TV soaps.

    Mind you it wasn't always a pejorative term, I seem to remember that Battler Britain, WWII Spitfire pilot and air-ace, had a wing-man called Ginger in the Hotspur!
     
  3. haminka1

    haminka1 Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    personally i don't understand the oversensitivity of the ginger... aehm, red-haired people ...
    people grow up, what's your problem? i'm blond and there are some many jokes about blonde women - even i'm telling them, have absolutely no problem with it ... this PC culture is slowly damaging our brains, I find ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  4. mathepac

    mathepac Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    I'm sure there are, but I prefer the jokes about blonde women. ;)
     
  5. z107

    z107 Guest

    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    Black people aren't black either.
     
  6. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    Hi Ham,

    This thread is about the term "Ginger". To my mind ginger describes a yellow/brown mix. I think the traditional irish "foxy" is a bettter description of the orange colour hair that many Irish people have.

    aj
     
  7. Hoagy

    Hoagy Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    I was always called 'carrot' in school..
     
  8. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    Yes "carrot" describes the hair colouring better than "ginger". Perhaps those cheap english tv shows are referring to people with yellow/brown hair colouring?
     
  9. z107

    z107 Guest

    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    carrots have green hair.
     
  10. haminka1

    haminka1 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    hey mathepac, thanx for correction, the spelling slips from time to time when english's not your mother tongue :D
     
  11. haminka1

    haminka1 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    might originate in the colour of it's skin? that one is closer to the reddish or orange hair-colour ...
    you could always use the word "carrot" as well :) personally i find the word ginger rather nice /just like the colour/ ...
     
  12. Marion

    Marion Moderator

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    Some very lucky Irish people have natural "Titian red" and the natural "Strawberry Blonde".

    I don't think "foxy" or "carrot" would cover these colours.

    I thought it might have originated from Ginger Rogers but her name, Virginia, was mispronounced by a child when she was young - so google informs me!

    One of the sisters in Shawshank Redemtion, Mark Rolston has what I would call ginger hair.

    I have seen some Bajan/Barbadian children with ginger-coloured hair.

    Marion
     
  13. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    I don't like the term; I find it too English and quite derogatory.
     
  14. Yorky

    Yorky Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    How can something be 'too English' ?
     
  15. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    Same way they can be too American; the phrase is out of place in everyday Irish english.
     
  16. haminka1

    haminka1 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    surely the term "too English" sounds rather ironic coming from a member of a nation which kept the language of their colonists /while slagging them at each opportunity/ due to pragmatic reasons why letting their original mother tongue die out as redundant and old-fashioned?
     
  17. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    No really.

    There are loads of former colonies where the mother tongue/ tongues/ dialects have died out and the language of the colonising power has become the everyday language.

    My family are of Norman extraction from Wexford. It is a certainty that they didn’t speak Irish in the last few hundred years and may never have done so. The idea that we as a nation had one language for thousands of years and only lost it recently is utterly false.
     
  18. haminka1

    haminka1 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    hm ... well, Norman extraction is something different but vast majority claim to have Gaelic origin and honestly, that's something that really strikes me as rather strange
     
  19. csirl

    csirl Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    ??? Isnt the answer obvious? Because refined ginger is orange/brown and so is the hair?
     
  20. Caveat

    Caveat Frequent Poster

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    Re: Where did the term "Ginger" come from when referring to people with red/ foxy hai

    Claim being the operative word.

    I would hazard a guess that for many people, boasting about their Irish 'authenticity' is a bit of wishfull thinking.

    E.g. Arguably, Ken Magennis (Ulster unionist) could be said to be 'more Irish' than Gerry Adams.