slurs on the Polish

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Mon Mar 16 13:38:33 UTC 2009

On Mar 16, 2009, at 5:29 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> ANS needs to get together and formalize a new spelling of "pollack." I
> suggest "polok." I've known several families that spelled their
> surname "Pollack" [pal at k].

in addition to the reasonably common family name "Pollack", there's
also the fish called "pollack".  the Racial Slur Database offers
"Polock" or [the Polish spelling] "Polak".  but just about everyone
else -- OED, NOAD2, AHD4, M-W Online, Wikipedia -- spells the slur

the OED has a long list of alternative spellings: Polacque, Pollacke,
Polake, Polaque, Polac, Polacche, Polacke, Polach, Poleak, Polak,
Pollack, Polack, Pullack, Polark, Pollak (and notes that there are
variants with l.c. initials).


The American Dialect Society -

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