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Ang Moh = Red Hair = Whitey, but does it = Rude?

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hk203
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Postby hk203 » Fri, 30 May 2008 2:58 pm

Nailah wrote:
hk203 wrote:Apparently, the word "Ang MO' is extracted from the hokkien word "Ang Mo Dan" (rambutan). LOLOL

I have again gained new knowledge today. Hee hee


Hahahaha! Oh no... we're derailing the topic like its nobody's business.... :P

Hmm... am suddenly craving for rambutan... :o




.




Me too!! But too bad it's not the season yet...lolol

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Postby zjules » Fri, 30 May 2008 3:15 pm

Im the only 'ang moh' in our office here, and when our admin assistant needs to see me for anything, she just shouts 'Ang Moh!' as loud as she can. Half the office laugh, the other half look shocked to death. :D I dont thinks its a problem, as regularly used in conversation

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 30 May 2008 6:10 pm

zjules,

You sound like you are in the same situation that I'm in. I am also the only Ang Moh in the Group of Companies. (Same with my last employer of almost 8 years as well). It's always been my nickname.

However, tone of voice goes a long way to differentiating the way it's being used. And the majority of strangers don't use it in a "friendly" way. It's generally a disparaging way.

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Postby cutiebutie » Sat, 31 May 2008 1:15 pm

I would disagree with you, SMS. I have very seldom heard it used disparagingly. Ang Moh is not used (generally) negatively whereas I would not accept the Cantonese gwei lo.
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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 31 May 2008 2:30 pm

The only Chinese term in general use in SG for "Caucasian" is "Ang Moh" and it is derived from Hokkien, a chinese dialect. There's no other word, in common usage, to describe this superior race :P . Unless if one were to use the Mandarin word "yang ren" (westerner). However, due to the rojak nature of Singaporeans fondness to intermingle languages, chinese, malay, indian and all its dialects, even if one were to speak in Mandarin sentence, it is not unusal to use "ang moh" instead of completing the full sentence in Mandarin with the term "yang ren" in their speech. The former just seems to be more favored by the local population.

For Chinese, it is not rude to identify person or people by physical characteristic. Just like for native American Indians ("red Indians" for those who have no clue who I am referring too as I once had a Singaporean customer service asked me if I am native American over the phone. He meant someone who was born and raised in US. ), the tribesman would have names like "Wounded Knee" which describes a physical attribute. It is perfectly OK to say to a friend who have gained a few pounds that he is "feng man". Literally means "rounded and full". It actually sounds like an euphemism but means "fat" in a non-offensive way. So if any forumer should bump into me on the street, please feel free to comment on my appearance e.g. "Cute looking", "Sexy", "Shapely", "Chesty" :P . I won't be offended, really.

Ang Moh means "Red Hair" and probably the first Caucasian the Chinese met happened to have red hair.

"Gweilo" in Cantonese probably originated the same way. It may sound offensive but really is not intended to be so. It is a pragmatic way of identifying people. Speaking of which, I have put on some weight lately and should change my user name to "Jelly Belly". :o

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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 31 May 2008 2:54 pm

zjules wrote:Im the only 'ang moh' in our office here, and when our admin assistant needs to see me for anything, she just shouts 'Ang Moh!' as loud as she can. Half the office laugh, the other half look shocked to death. :D I dont thinks its a problem, as regularly used in conversation


Even though Ang Moh is not an offensive term, it is rather rude and unprofessional of her. You do have a name and should be addressed as such in an office. It would be like someone calling me "Chinese" in place of my actual name. Sounds silly to me.

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Postby ksl » Sat, 31 May 2008 6:13 pm

zjules wrote:Im the only 'ang moh' in our office here, and when our admin assistant needs to see me for anything, she just shouts 'Ang Moh!' as loud as she can. Half the office laugh, the other half look shocked to death. :D I dont thinks its a problem, as regularly used in conversation


That's not really nice, because she does know your name, if you ask me, her bravado needs a quick sharp turn, just to bring her to ground level, in a fun kind of way, she's just having a laugh at your expense! Personally i would be very offended, but if someone that doesn't know me, calls me ang moh, i can except that.

It's a matter of principle more than anything, if i have to live with the name ang moh from people that know, me, they would also have to accept chinky from me, it's all a matter or respect isn't it.

I have seen my own race use the terms in a rude and offending way's, when it most certainly isn't called for...and these terms that are generated in dialects of all races, is kind of funny to them, that create them, with others, that accept the terms, although have the commonsense not to use them in offending ways.

Like I say ang moh, is not really derogative, but if you have been accepted into the working environment, respect is mutual... I mean i do not work, in my wifes location, but when i go there, all the workers call me boss, and ang moh, when discussing me, which is totally ok by me. In fact one or two do call me by my first name too. behind my back I'm sure they are like all other races's and have their manly discussions of a humoristic nature.

I would also say, that most women wouldn't behave in this manner, unless they were pretty low working class, trying to have this laugh, at your expence. Just my opinion!

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Postby ksl » Sat, 31 May 2008 6:48 pm

Unless if one were to use the Mandarin word "yang ren" (westerner).
This term is less commonly used in Mandarin to my knowledge, unless it was from a well mannererd and educated social class, I think laowai would be used by uneducated and yangren, if they knew about a western society.

The most commonest term in mandarin would be "laowai" Which again to me is used quite neutrally although many may see it as a derogatory term..., again it's how and when it is used. "Red haired devil" is the symbolic meaning.

Laowai ( is one of several Chinese words for foreigner. Laowai literally translates as old (lao 老) foreigner (wai 外). It is an informal word that appears in both spoken and written Chinese. While some people consider laowai a casual and neutral word, others view it as a pejorative term.

My experience is that language is so misunderstood by many that express it, and intentions are not really meant, to offend, I would rather be called pom, or yank, than ang moh in a work place, because the reference is much more descriptive and personal. I take offence being called yank, if I am called it more than a few times, and the only way to put people in there place, is to be just as insulting, to make the message clear.

Chinky is not offencive, but it can be used in an offencive way, and Chinese people do not like it, but basically because they misunderstand the culture, that invented the term, and we also have those problems being foreigners, so it's all a matter of showing eachother acceptable levels of communication... like okay, if you want to call me Ang Moh, do you mind I call you chinky. I most certainaly don't see the terms in a racistic manner, but more of a low working class and social class manner.

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Postby hk203 » Sat, 31 May 2008 7:49 pm

ksl wrote:
zjules wrote:Personally i would be very offended, but if someone that doesn't know me, calls me ang moh, i can except that.


Few of my British friend used to joke with me..."you bloody Chinese muppet or you bloody foreigner..." and I always replied, "shut up you bloody British and what do you want??" LOLOL..missed those days!! One of them even bought me a book, which title "Bloody foreigner" for my farewell gift. :-) I am totally fine with that because that was meant to be a joke.

But if some stranger and come to me and call me "bloody chinese", think i'm gonna flip...no doubt about that.

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Postby EADG » Sat, 31 May 2008 10:04 pm

I'm with you here - in the former kind of case I'm with you and it's fun

in the latter, the first time someone calls me ang moh to my face (and I don't even have red hair) I will ensure it will be their first and last time

hk203 wrote:Few of my British friend used to joke with me..."you bloody Chinese muppet or you bloody foreigner..." and I always replied, "shut up you bloody British and what do you want??" LOLOL..missed those days!! One of them even bought me a book, which title "Bloody foreigner" for my farewell gift. :-) I am totally fine with that because that was meant to be a joke.

But if some stranger and come to me and call me "bloody chinese", think i'm gonna flip...no doubt about that.
Ape Shall Not Kill Ape

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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 12:08 am

"lao wai" is used mainly by mainland Chinese and Taiwanese and I doubt Singaporeans know this term. I do not know if the large influx of mainlanders in the recent years may have introduced it into SG vocabulary. Language is not static and constantly changing with times and events. Just like the term "go postal" in the USA is used to describe killing spree due to postal workers who went berserk and did that kind of thing.

"Lao Wai" means foreigner and is equivalent to Japanese "gaijin". It would puzzle the Japanese greatly when foreigners get offended by it as it is a neautral term. I think sometimes people read too much into a word. Although the Japanese can easily use it as a blanket term to connotate all things and people foreign are bad compared to their superior culture and race :P .

"Yang Ren" is used in SG rather than "Lao Wai". And "Ang Moh" is most commonly used, of them all. Maybe due to Singaporean penchant to include Hokkien terms in their speech. It gives them a sense of bonding and comarederie? Hokkien is a "working class" langauge and definitely not the most refined amongst Chinese languages or dialects. I never like that dialect although I, myself am Hokkien. JMHO. It is the language of choice for singaporean gangsters and ah bengs.

ksl wrote:like okay, if you want to call me Ang Moh, do you mind I call you chinky. I most certainaly don't see the terms in a racistic manner, but more of a low working class and social class manner.


I would not equate "Ang Moh" to "Chink". Latter is meant to be derogatory while former is not. They are not equivalent. "Chinese" is the proper tem in common usage for "Chink" whereas "Angmoh" is the accepted term for "Angmoh". It is like comparing apple to orange. My family would describe my hubby as an "Ang Moh". It is definitely not negative term. And they love him to death. And nope, he does not have red hair. It is a figure of speech. Although I myself do not find the term "Chink" offensive. It has a nice "ring" sound to it. And it is just a word to me, unless it is used to cause great harm. Maybe I just have greater tolerance to this kind of thing than most people. I try not to let words hurt me and have thick skin in this respect. Although I would not belittle someone who takes offense with inproper word usage and understand words can do great damage and hurt.

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Postby ksl » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 12:50 am

hk203 wrote:
ksl wrote:
zjules wrote:Personally i would be very offended, but if someone that doesn't know me, calls me ang moh, i can except that.


Few of my British friend used to joke with me..."you bloody Chinese muppet or you bloody foreigner..." and I always replied, "shut up you bloody British and what do you want??" LOLOL..missed those days!! One of them even bought me a book, which title "Bloody foreigner" for my farewell gift. :-) I am totally fine with that because that was meant to be a joke.

But if some stranger and come to me and call me "bloody chinese", think i'm gonna flip...no doubt about that.


Yes it's understandable, I would never dream of using those terms, although many do, in jest, it's also about understanding culture...even I myself can bite on a humoristic joke from an American, if I don't because i really don't understand the culture, the culture..it is natural to be proud of one's heritage and therefore stand ground, or give back in one's own cultural humoristic way, of which they would not understand, then the slagging match begins. It's much better to show respect from day one until one understands a persons sensitivity, I would say most words invented in the early 19th century for foreigners where not meant to be of a derogatory term.

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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 1:09 am

KSL, I forgot to answer your question. You can call me "Chink" if I can call you "Twa ne ne" (big boobs) . :P

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Postby ksl » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 1:25 am

I have to agree with you, becuase you are quite right "Chinky" is basically a derogative term, but my point is, the people that are using, do not use it in a derogatary manner, and there is a big difference.

Just like Brit's use Paddy, Jock and Taffy, it's all quite harmless, but many get offended, so it is a tolerance thing.

The brit sense of humour can be quite shockingly sick, they will laugh and joke, if someone was knocked down..although very sympathetic and helpful at the same time. It's kind of ironic humour, which on occasions I have had difficulty myself understanding. especially in nightclubs, were a comedians will deliberately get his kicks, and laughs at the humiliation of others...

I can remember a black comedian from Yorkshire Charlie Williams who literally became famous making fun of himself and blacks, of course the majority of being whites, so him as a great comedian, that wasn't racist at all, and the opposite was Bernard Manning who was white, and really hit below the belt, to get laughs, he was neither racist but one would think so, to listen to him.

Language does evolve and many people do not, maybe that is the problem, it was a derogatory term used in India, which crossed the ocean

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinky

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Williams_(comedian)

I'm learning quite alot by this discussion myself!

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Postby ksl » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 1:33 am

earthfriendly wrote:KSL, I forgot to answer your question. You can call me "Chink" if I can call you "Twa ne ne" (big boobs) . :P


That's a great one! I was on my way out to the city, and my wife and daughter said" hurry up and get dressed" I said I'm not getting dressed, i just want mummies bra, that will do! My daughter was curled up laughing!

I've also got self conscious myself with all the weights I have lifted, over the years, although to blow the myth, it never turns to fat! How do I know, because even when they are sagging, if I stop training for 6 months, i can still flex them by muscle control, mammy cannot! thank god!:P Although toned up is better than pushing a wheel barrow in front of me! :roll: Actually not that big these days, lost 2 inches, so only 46 chest now. and 173cm height.


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