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  1. #1
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    What's in a name

    Can someone in the rabble explain to me where the term for highland soldiers "jock" came from. I've been looking and found an array of answers everything from when Queen Mary came from France her French servants called the Scottish servants Jacques. One site even suggested that now it is an ethnic slur. However every video about Scottish soldiers I've seen you here the lads say "I'm just a jock and proud to be one." So what's the deal?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilted redleg View Post
    Can someone in the rabble explain to me where the term for highland soldiers "jock" came from. I've been looking and found an array of answers everything from when Queen Mary came from France her French servants called the Scottish servants Jacques. One site even suggested that now it is an ethnic slur. However every video about Scottish soldiers I've seen you here the lads say "I'm just a jock and proud to be one." So what's the deal?
    This seems to sub it up best.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8094716.stm

    Frank
    Drink to the fame of it -- The Tartan!
    Murdoch Maclean

  3. The Following 3 Users say 'Aye' to Highland Logan For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
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    I am sure that most here are aware of the many pejoratives in common usage to describe those of another race or culture of which “Jock” is simply one. We could go on to list others such as “Taffy” for my countrymen or others but the intention, unfortunately, is never one of affection, always one of diminishing the objective.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivor View Post
    I am sure that most here are aware of the many pejoratives in common usage to describe those of another race or culture of which “Jock” is simply one. We could go on to list others such as “Taffy” for my countrymen or others but the intention, unfortunately, is never one of affection, always one of diminishing the objective.
    I would respectfully disagree. I named my friend Dave, a former Welsh Guardsman as "Taffy" all the time, with one hand on his shoulder and a big grin which he always reciprocated in kind. Not pejorative in any way whatever - totally affectionate. I miss my big old friend.

    Similarly, I am a very very proud Canuck.

    Pejoration depends on the sneer and context much more than the word.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Canadian Sinclair.

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  7. #5
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    That sounds plausible, Jacques.

    But one must be wary of the process called "folk etymology" when people create word origins or spellings based on false assumptions.

    There are tons in English.

    One is "an apron". Makes sense! We add an "n" when we say "an apple".

    The problem is that the word was originally "napron". Yes, it's "a napron" not "an apron".

    Things like this, and the "groom" in Bridegroom and the "s" in island make me skeptical of etymological theories.

    BTW being of recent Cornish ancestry (my grandmother was a first-generation American) I embrace the term "Cousin Jack" meaning a Cornish fellow.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 17th May 20 at 05:09 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father Bill View Post
    Pejoration depends on the sneer and context much more than the word.
    I agree. I am an American living in Lancashire, UK. I hear the word "yank" a lot. How I take it depends on how the person uses it. If it's just a substitute for American I don't mind at all. If they act like they have to wash their mouth out after they have said it I take a rather dimmer view. It is funny sometimes, though. Once in a while, someone will say something like "stupid yank" regarding something in the news or whatever before they know they are talking to one. I don't really comment on the yank stuff. I just start speaking. The results show on their face.

  10. #7
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    How about "septic"?

    Alan

  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by neloon View Post
    How about "septic"?

    Alan
    I use that myself referring to myself so I don't mind that one either. I just have to be careful how I say it, I might offend myself.

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnot View Post
    I agree. I am an American living in Lancashire, UK. I hear the word "yank" a lot. How I take it depends on how the person uses it. If it's just a substitute for American I don't mind at all. If they act like they have to wash their mouth out after they have said it I take a rather dimmer view. It is funny sometimes, though. Once in a while, someone will say something like "stupid yank" regarding something in the news or whatever before they know they are talking to one. I don't really comment on the yank stuff. I just start speaking. The results show on their face.
    Being from a Southern state, the term "yank" or "yankee" has always been used as (and taken as) an insult. I'm sure people overseas know this, which leads me to believe that when it is used to generically refer to Americans, people know it is potentially insulting. They are either doing it on purpose or with no regard to the delicacy of the term. And one of its most well-known uses, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is an insult.

    As for the term "jock", where I grew up it was always used as a pejorative to describe someone who is strong and athletic (usually a member of a school sports team) but who has no other redeeming qualities. For that reason, I've never warmed to the use of Jock as an ethnic description.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    Being from a Southern state, the term "yank" or "yankee" has always been used as (and taken as) an insult. I'm sure people overseas know this, which leads me to believe that when it is used to generically refer to Americans, people know it is potentially insulting. They are either doing it on purpose or with no regard to the delicacy of the term. And one of its most well-known uses, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is an insult.

    As for the term "jock", where I grew up it was always used as a pejorative to describe someone who is strong and athletic (usually a member of a school sports team) but who has no other redeeming qualities. For that reason, I've never warmed to the use of Jock as an ethnic description.
    I can't disagree with any of this really. But I will point out that a person can not always assume that offence is intended, even though offence can be taken.

    Let's suppose you came from a school which was known for it's athletic programs. Let's assume you're in good shape now. Let's assume someone calls you a jock, just because of what they know now, and where you came from. But the twist is, you were a scrawny kid, and the jock of your school picked on you. You might take that as an ironic insult, but none was intended.

    Language and feels are funny things. One persons term of endearment may be anothers insult. Context is key, and you can only be offended if you allow the other to have that power.

    Frank
    Drink to the fame of it -- The Tartan!
    Murdoch Maclean

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