Polack

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See also: polack

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Polish Polak (a Polish person).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • pō'lŏk', -lāk'

Noun[edit]

Polack (plural Polacks)

  1. (now North America offensive slang) A Pole, or person of Polish descent.
  2. (obsolete) Formerly in non-offensive use.
    • c. 1600, William Shakespeare, Hamlet
      which to him appear'd / to be a preparation against the Polack. - Act II, Scene ii, line 63
      So levied as before against the Pollack. - Act II, Scene ii, line 75
      Why, then the Polack never will defend it. - Act IV, Scene iv, line 23
    • 1610, Thomas Middleton, “Sir R. Sherley Sent Ambassador, etc.”, in Arthur Henry Bullen editor, The Works of Thomas Middleton‎, volume VIII, published 1886, page 307:
      First therefore was he employed into Poland, where by Sigismund, the king of Poland and of Suecia, he was received with great magnificence and applause both of the Polack himself and of his people.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The term Polack was used neutrally through the late nineteenth century, but is today considered an ethnic slur.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]