Talk:Paki

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Usage notes[edit]

The abbreviation Paki acquired offensive connotations in the 1960s when used by British tabloids to refer to subjects of former colony states in a derogatory and racist manner. In modern British usage "Paki" is typically used in a derogatory way as a label for all South Asians, including Indians and Bangladeshis.

The above needs stringent editing. For a start, the papers now commonly called tabloids, eg the News Of The World and The Sun, either did not exist in the 1960s or were not tabloid. Secondly, the idea that newspapers, tabloid or not, were routinely using the word Paki is false. I suspect the entry's been written by someone who wasn't around at the time but is blindly promoting his or her prejudices.

Demeaning?[edit]

I am Pakistani and I do not find this term racist or offensive.

I think it is listed as demeaning as the shortened term is more likely to be used in the context of a xenophobic slanted news article about offshoring. --Connel MacKenzie 03:29, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
funny you mention it, I didn't find it offensive either until I used it at a drink with friends and they all litteraly froze. It is apparently extremely offensive in the UK. 82.40.185.124 00:55, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I can't see whats wrong with it or why it would be offensive. 20 years ago it was fine but now its a criminal offence.

I agree the hindu magazine calls the pakistani soccer team the paks affectionatly like the canucks and yankees of north america. of course if you call a yankee a canuck or a canuck a yankee they will be offended but there is nothing offensive in the terms of themselves.

"Paki" is NOT offensive in the United States[edit]

Why doesn't this "scholarly" article make the above fact clear? There are plenty of British swearwords that are not offensive in the U.S. (and vice versa).

Example of correct, inoffensive usage:

A cab driver in New York City will often be a Paki.

Its used against all South-Asians[edit]

This term is used for all South-Asians since the 60's. It was made up by a group of racist Skinheads, who disliked the idea of immigration from groups of people with a different ethnicity, group, and belief system. It is also very insulting to call an Indian a Paki as Indians and Pakistanis fought for many years against eacher during the partition of India. So Indians are not Pakis that is why it is so insulting.

Wrong, The word Paki was NOT invented by racist skinheads. It was however used and popularised by them. The term originated in Northern England in the 60s where large numbers of Pakistanis migrated to, especially places like Bradford, Oldham, Leeds, Leicester etc. The skinhead youth cult originated in East London. In Australia the term Paki is rarely used except in Cricket where the pleural term `The Pakis' is used for the Pakistani cricket team. In this sense it is only used exclusively for Pakistanis and not other South Asians and is not considered or intended to be offensive, just used as an abbreviation. Ethnic slurs for South Asians in Australia are usually "Curry Muncher", "Towel Head" or if they are very dark skinned, they're sometimes dubbed as being "black". The only other people in Australia to use the term Paki are pathetic try-hard skinheads who think they're British and try to emulate the British skins not just in dress sense but also their language. Canada is probably the only other country where Paki is used prevalently to identify their large Indian population. However the Canadians hijacked the term from the Brits and unlike the UK, Canada does not have a large Pakistani population whereas Britain does and that's the issue.

Pakistanis living in Pakistan, are unfamiliar with the concept of racism, as it exists in the west[edit]

As a native Pakistani, living in Pakistan, the term Paki is not really offensive, to most Pakistanis. This is because native Pakistanis are not aware many times, of the racist and hateful way, in which Pakistanis and persons who may look like they might be Pakistani, are attacked with using this word in countries like UK and Canada.

In fact, it's fair to say that most native Pakistanis living in Pakistan, have NEVER been at the receiving end of racism, and when they first encounter racial slurs in a recently arrived in country, many times they even fail to recognize racism: they are unacquainted with the concept, being the overwhelming majority in their own homeland of Pakistan, where thankfully racisim of the western kind, doesn't really exist, probably because of the extreme high density of a large number of interbred races, over the last thousand years.

If Los Angeles is the melting pot, Pakistan is the pot long since melted.

a) this bear little connection to the original article and b) it is ludicrous to state that one country somehow doesn't 'have' racism. I'm sorry to have to let you in on this one, but every single country on the planet had, has and will have a portion of its population being racist. 82.40.185.124 00:55, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

This is a true article .i praise its veracity.

Pakistan obviously has bigotry, but not in the form of racism, in the form of religious intolerance. Back to the topic, "Pakistan" means "Land of the Pure", so when you call someone a Paki, you are calling them pure, which I'm sure they don't find offensive until they realize the context. Also I noticed a "some say" in this article. I don't know the rules well, but I'm fairly sure that that is below Wikipedia's standards.

Being a Pakistani and having lived in Pakistan for most of my life, I second that there is no racism of the Western kind in Pakistan. Western racism means victimizing a person based on their race but as someone said earlier distinct races don't exist in Pakistan because of the extensive interbreeding. Most Pakistanis don't even know what race they belong to, so how can there be any racism?

That said, I would like to point out that racism on the basis of religion, language, and economic status does exist in Pakistan. Racism beween populations of different provinces also exists.

Make pejorative use in the UK an exception?[edit]

The term doesn't seem to be pejorative in the U.S., either. Perhaps this article should be rewritten to make the racist use of the word a footnote, rather than the rule from which innocent (and possibly far more widespread) use has to be excepted. It would be helpful if a geographically diverse sample of people to whom the term is applied would post what it means in their location.

I agree - this is a term that is certainly ripe for "reclaiming". It's interesting that other similarly derived terms (e.g. Afghani or Kazakh)are not used in the same derogitory way. Mike Moreton 06:06, 1 February 2007 (UTC)


Is this fair?[edit]

"In Australia, a country with notoriously racist immigration laws (see Wikipedia:White Australia policy)"

That dates back some time, and may not be reflective of Australia as a country now.

To give an analogy, imagine an entry regarding an offensive word for Jews, citing Germany as a country NOW (2006)

australia[edit]

In Australia, a country with notoriously racist immigration laws (see Wikipedia:White Australia policy), the Pakistani cricket team are commonly referred to as the Pakis, just as the West Indians are known as the Windies


How is Australia's immigration laws relevent here? Plus, since when has windies been an ethnic slur?

In Australia the expression "Paki" is as offensive as the word "Pom". i.e. No offense indented, simply jovial banter amongst sporting rivals. Spoonfeed 02:06, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

U.S.[edit]

Interestingly, the term is used in the US, but it is not considered offensive. I've witnessed the term be used simply to mean "a person of Pakistani origins/heritage". --Dijan 20:44, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Offensive?![edit]

Why is Paki deemed "offensive" in th UK, except when used solely within the Pakistani community and not elsewhere?

Paki is just a shortened word for Pakistani, just as Brit is for British, Aussie for Australian etc.

I live in a city in England where the ethnic (and perceived) Pakistani community (actually the majority are from pakistani-controlled Jammu and Kashmir which is not an integral part of Pakistan and is in fact de jure an occupied part of India!) where we'd say I'm off to the paki shop (corner shop, convenience store) and this was not said in a derogatory way but in a matter of fact (I'm off to the pakistani-owned shop) kind of way.

Any noun can be deemed to be offensive when said in a aggressive, loud and derogatory fashion but that is life. People should just laugh it off and show up the bigots for what they are, ill-educated!

The liberal PC brigade is destroying the UK. You'd think calling a Pakistani a Paki was the worst crime in the world. Maybe the reason many south asians find being called a Paki offensive is because they are Indian or Bangladeshi (ex East Pakistani) or Kashmiri!

You are being prescriptionist. We don't get to define words, or say what they should mean, or how people should feel about them. I'm glad it's not offensive wherever you are, but elsewhere it is. There doesn't need to be a reason. It would improve the article to find one, but the situation is what it is. I assure you, there is no vast liberal conspiracy at work here. 216.75.170.81 18:27, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Wacko redneck types and PC liberals find it offensive. It's kind of like how some stupid people think that "Jew" or "Mexican" is a slur.

"Jew" can be a slur, actually. Try saying "That Jew lawyer" in front of someone Jewish and see how well they take it.

^ Allright. I'm another Pakistani and I feel that clearly, you haven't done your research of the word. It is clear that you have no identity of your own. The word 'paki' was not just used by British tabloids, in fact, I'm not so sure if that is even true, might've been though. But 50-60 years ago, when immigrants from the subcontinent arrived to England for better jobs or to make a better living, they were not given a very 'polite' welcome. Most of them had rocks thrown at them along with people saying 'fuck off you paki bastard' or 'smelly paki bastard' or 'go back to your own country paki bastard'. Notice the 'bastard' being placed each time someone says the word.

To expand on that, many asians owned corner shops like you mentioned above.. 'the paki shop'. There have many cases where the shopowners were attacked and once even killed by racist-thugs and had graffiti on the wall displaying content such as 'ragheads, go home!' or 'paki out!'. Some people even had to shut down their shops and find work somewhere else, or become taxi drivers instead.

Other than this, after the 9/11 bombings, there has been much segregation (not that there wasn't any before that) of Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Afghan and Arab muslims. I moved in a rich area just a year ago and realized that there is only one more asian family living here. The rest of the families live in a slightly more 'ghetto-fied' area with bad schools, bad environment and what not.

To conclude this, the word is pretty much (at least to me) a reminder of how we were segregated and discriminated against at the time when 'paki bashing' was common especially by a gang known as 'APL' (anti-paki league), and what's more the killing of innocent Iraqis by American soldiers. Obviously the word in itself is not bad, the word 'pak' means 'pure' but it is the history that the word carries with it that makes it what it is now. Quite similar to the word (excuse me for saying it) 'nigger'. The word was derived from the latin word 'negro' which meant someone of dark skin, which clearly isn't so bad. But it is the fact that it is a reminder of how black people were treated as slaves.

It is mentioned that asian youths are now claiming the word as their own. Before you do anything, try having a white guy call you a 'paki' and compare it to an asian calling you one. I think you will spot a difference. It's human nature, you will naturally feel the difference. Guy calls a girl a slag, she will find it more offensive than a girl calling her (this mostly depends on the situation but is the case mostly). I hope you see my point of view on this argument, I'm not here to change your mind or anything but there are a few things you missed here and there and I just wanted to let you know, it's all show and respect.

80.69.30.244 10:28, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Bangladeshis[edit]

Can bengalis still count as pakis, as the country was called East Pakistan for 24 years from 1947-1971, and the word being made somewhere in the 60's? Would it be offensive for a bengali to call a pakistani a paki? Do pakis call each other pakis anyway? No they dont.

Normally Bangladeshis prefer not to be called Pakis. I don't think that the term should be applied to Bangladeshis, unless you're absolutely sure that the person would not mind. I don't think that a Bangladeshi (or Bengali) calling a Pakistani a Paki is offensive, however, it is up to the Pakistani whether he/she likes to be called that way. Yes, Pakistanis often refer to each other as Pakis. --Dijan 16:44, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

No because Pakistan broke away from India as well, so can you call and indian a paki? No so bangladeshis are different.

  • Bengali's are their own seperate ethnic group with their own language

Wouldn't Paki be the correct term for the ethnic group?[edit]

I mean, they live in Pakistan. The suffix -stan means "place of" so it makes sense that the people are Pakis, just as Afghans are not "Afghanistanis" and Tajik's are not "Tajikistani's", Uzbeks are not "Uzbekistani's", Kurds are not "Kurdistanis", etc etc, I could go on and on with the Khazaks, and the Wazirs, and Turkmens, etc etc

So far all of them follow the same set of rules but Paki"stanis"

Unlike Uzbek, Kurd and Tajik, Paki is not an ethnic designation. It is a national designation. Pakistan as a nation is made up of many ethnic groups, such as Punjabis, Sindhis, Seraikis, Pashtuns, etc. When it comes to Afghans, it is more complicated. The term could mean either Afghanistani (regardless of ethnicity...one could be Tajik and call himself an Afghan) or Pashtun. --Dijan 07:37, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Urdu word[edit]

I'm not sure that the line for the Urdu word for "pure" belongs here. Should it be at a lower-case entry? Is "paki" a recognized romanization of the Urdu word? Are romanizations of Urdu usually included in Wiktionary as headwords? Are the included in the Urdu script entry? DCDuring TALK 08:18, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

No, it belongs in the etymology at Pakistan, under پاک. —Stephen 15:56, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Was that no for all four questions? There would seem to be some merit to having a reference to the Urdu meaning on this page. Perhaps I will get a citation that includes such a reference. DCDuring TALK 16:26, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
No, it doesn’t belong here; no, it shouldn’t be at a lower-case entry; no, it is not a standard romanization; no, romanizations of Urdu are not included as headwords. Don’t understand "Are the included in the Urdu script entry". —Stephen 16:43, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt reply. To clarify the question: would "paki" be included in an Urdu script entry for the Urdu word that was romanized as "paki" ? A new question: In light of the negative answers to the previous question, how would someone who couldn't read Urdu use Wiktionary to find out the the Urdu word pronounced "paki" had the meaning something like "pure" ? DCDuring TALK 18:27, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, like any other Urdu or Arabic word, there would be an article at پاک, including transcription and definition. Then پاک could be added to the English definitions as a translation. To find out about "paki", a reader would look to the translation section when one becomes available, or else he would look in the Etymology and click on Pakistani, then on Pakistan, and the ultimate etymology there would tell him that پاک means pure. —Stephen 18:56, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem as I see it is that, if a typical English-speaking user puts "paki" in the search box and hits [enter], they are brought to this page, which does not contain this useful (and positive) snippet. I don't know that a {{see}} referring to the Urdu script entry will do it either. Even if they hit search, they might not find or appreciate the entries that are shown, especially because most will be put off by the Urdu script, once there is an Urdu entry. Removing the content without a good alternative home seems wrong, though this is clearly not the right home. This is a good example of how an important class of user could benefit from a good handling of romanization. DCDuring TALK 19:21, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
That’s why this page needs a translation section. But I agree that our romanization policies are poor and getting progressively worse. I have come to think that practical romanization may be a lost cause. Useful romanizations constantly pop up in speedy delete category, and I ignore those requests, but somebody always deletes them right away. —Stephen 19:35, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm glad we had this little chat. I may go and tilt at windmills go pound sand revisit the most recent romanization discussion with this case in mind. DCDuring TALK 20:08, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Arabic romanisation needs revisiting. --Anatoli 08:38, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Keepsake[edit]

This: 'The word has been turned into a keepsake for the young British Pakistani community that is not acceptable for someone outside the community to say it, including Indians and Bangladeshis.' is not idiomatic English. Perhaps it was written by a Paki? —This comment was unsigned.

Fixed the grammar. Some sources for the statement would be nice. Equinox 16:02, 10 September 2011 (UTC)