New Ethnic Term

Towse self at TOWSE.COM
Wed May 29 22:38:01 UTC 2002

"James A. Landau" wrote:
> >From an article by Joe Klein at
> Delcourt is the mayor of Lens, and this is a report of his being interviewed by Klein through an interpreter:
> "I remind people that they have worked for years in the mines with the Moroccans," Delcourt says, not realizing that Algerians and Tunisians hate being called Moroccans. If a label is necessary, they would rather be called Arabs or beur (the latter a slang reverse play on the word Arab).

I couldn't figure out where "beur" came from even with that
explanation, so I went surfing and found it was French hip-hop


"The 'bandes' speak an argot that blends American hip hop slang,
Arabic words (given that North Africans are France's largest
ethnic minority) and French 'verlan' -- hipsterist word play in
which syllables are reversed (for example, 'noires' (blacks)
become 'renois,' and 'arabe' (Arab) becomes 'beur')."

So, 'arabe' became 'abe-ar' became 'beur.'

Further surfing shows the 'beur' tag attached to the bicultural
younger set that is both Arab and French but neither Arab nor

useful links for writers:

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