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Pet Sins November 2007

Slang Racial Categorizations in Australia

The definition of minorities in Australia is very different from definition of minorities in the USA. In Australia minorities are: every race/nationality except Breton- or Nordic-descended white Australians. In other words, we almost never used the word "white" in australia.

Aussie slang only has :

  • SKIP = Breton-Australian ( the majority in Australia )
  • WOG = Any Non-Breton/Protestant (except Irish) Caucasian (Spanish, Italian, Balkans, Greeks, Slavs, Arabs, Turks, Afghans etc. Latinos are also considered 'wogs')
  • ASIAN = Any Mongoloid race Asian (from Indonesia to Japan, but South Asians are regarded as a separate race, usually they address themselves as "curry ")
  • ABORIGINAL = Aboriginal Australian
  • BLACKS = Pacific Islanders (Aussies don't really have any particular slang word to address African-descent people)
  • ETHNIC = Any non-Breton people

It's pretty different to USA's point of view, isn't it ? Even whites experience discrimination in Australia (although not as severely as Abos or Asians). One good example is this website :

Although the Greeks are white Europeans, they also do have experience racism as people of color do.

I also would like to know readers' responses and opinions from around the world including USA about this. I also wonder if this kind of phenomenon also happens in USA.

What do you think ?

Letter from Australia