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5 everyday words that are actually a little bit racist

Have you accidentally been using racial slurs? Probably.

Image: Instant Vantage via Creative Commons/Flickr

COMPANIES AND INDIVIDUALS often come under fire – often unwittingly – by using a phrase or word that falls foul of the boundaries of good taste.

In 2009, German car company Audi had some explaining to do after it launched the new RS6 Avant model with the catchy moniker ‘White Power’. The company quickly blamed the misstep on an error in translation – but not before being roundly attacker by online commenters.

American singer Jessica Simpson also ruffled feathers when she told reporters she would not take back the $100,000 boat she bought for ex-boyfriend Tony Romo, saying: “I’m not an Indian giver”. She later said she did not realise the term was a racial stereotype used against Native Americans.

But, before you feel too smug about your own behaviour, consider the origins of some everyday words…

5 everyday words that are actually a little bit racist
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  • Hooligan

  • Vandals

  • Barbarian

  • Bugger

  • Cannibal

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