gook

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Use traced to U.S. Marines in Philippines in early 20th century.[1][2] Earliest recorded example is dated 1920.[3]

  • Folk etymology suggests that during the Korean War, young Korean children would point at U.S. soldiers and shout "미국" (Miguk), the Korean word for "America". Soldiers heard the word as "me gook", as if the children were defining themselves as "gooks". The soldiers proceeded to use that term to refer to the Koreans. The word (, guk) itself simply means "country". This explanation ignores the fact that there are many examples of the word's use that pre-date the Korean War.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

gook (plural gooks)

  1. (slang, vulgar, pejorative, offensive, ethnic slur) A person from the Far East, Oceania or Southeast Asia, in particular a Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, Korean person.
Usage notes[edit]
  • In the US, gook refers particularly to a Vietnamese person in the context of the Vietnam War, and particularly to the Viet Cong. It is generally considered highly offensive, on a par with nigger.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Possible blend of goop and gunk.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

gook (plural gooks)

  1. (informal) Grime or mud.
    • 1983, Len O'Connor, A Reporter in Sweet Chicago[1], ISBN 0809276488, page 351:
      "Roost No More" was a yellow gook that Joe's people would spread around, for a fee, on the ledges of houses and commercial buildings plagued by pigeons.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dictionary.com
  2. ^ Pearson, Kim, "Gook".
  3. ^ Seligman, Herbert J., "The Conquest of Haiti", The Nation, July 10, 1920.
  4. 4.0 4.1 gook” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.