The popular definition referring to East and Southeast Asians collectively seems to be a shortened form of "Asian American", a term whose origins activists and academics trace back to 1968 and University of California, Berkeley (UCLA) students Yuji Ichioka and Emma Gee, who, inspired by the Black Power Movement and the protests against the Vietnam War, founded the "Asian American Political Alliance" as a way to unite Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino American students on campus. It replaced the term "Mongoloid", but still continued the racial grouping of "Mongoloid". South Asians are also sometimes called "Asian" in the English settler colonies (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) but rarely (if ever) Near Easterners and Central Asians.
The British term exclusively referring to South Asians was due to South Asians making up a majority of immigrants from the continent of Asia in the United Kingdom.
Asian (plural Asians)
- A person from the continent of Asia, or a descendant thereof.
- (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, also International English on the Internet) A person from or with ancestry in East or Southeast Asia, occasionally South Asia.
- (UK, Ireland, South Africa) A person from or with ancestry in South Asia.
- 1987 May, Paul Oliver, “Movie Mahal: Indian cinema on ITV Channel 4”, in Popular Music, →DOI, page 215:
- If radio and television programmes are anything to go by, Asians in Britain get up early on a Sunday.
- 2013, Malala Yousafzai, I Am Malala:
- Were there Taliban beheading people? I didn't tell my parents, but I flinched if an Asian-looking man came close.
- A domestic cat of a breed similar to the Burmese.
The American usage of "Asian" (East, Southeast, sometimes South Asian) is internationally used outside of English (e.g. in Turkish, German, Swedish, Korean, French, etc.).
- See Thesaurus:Asian
- (person from Asia): Oriental, Asiatic
- (person from east Asia): East Asian, Oriental, Oriental Asian, Chinese (loosely)
- (person from the Indian subcontinent): South Asian, Desi, Asian Indian, East Indian, Indian (loosely), Pakistani (loosely)
Asian (not comparable)
- Of, relating to or from Asia.
- 2015 June 4, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, “The beauty contest winner making Japan look at itself”, in BBC:
- There are white, black, Asian and Chinese Britons
- Asian badger
- Asian bearcat
- Asian black bear
- Asian black rat
- Asian blue crab
- Asian box turtle
- Asian brown flycatcher
- Asian carp
- Asian clam
- Asian common toad
- Asian corn borer
- Asian desert warbler
- Asian elephant
- Asian emerald cuckoo
- Asian giant hornet
- Asian golden cat
- Asian jumping worm
- Asian koel
- Asian lion
- Asian palm civet
- Asian pear
- Asian Semi-longhair
- Asian swamp eel
- Asian wild dog