Ginger and Re: Gingerism, gingerphobia

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 12 03:48:56 UTC 2013

Any connection with anti-Irish hatred?


At 8/11/2013 12:37 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>I received a kind e-mail this morning saying Nexis has "gingerism"
>to 1998 apparently of British origin.
>Wiktionary ( has it to 1997
>and labels it British.
>My earliest recollection of hearing the word "ginger" is within the
>past five years, so I suspect that "ginger" itself entered general
>American English with the South Park episode "Ginger Kids"
>( in 2005, though maybe
>I've just been out of the loop.
>Gingerism/gingerphobia is interesting because AFAIK, unlike racism
>and homophobia, nobody actually believes that people with red hair
>are actually different, other than the red hair itself (and perhaps
>accompanying sensitive skin). Nevertheless,
>chronicles cases of gingerism, including at least one that seems to
>genuinely be fueled by nonginger supremacism (the attacker was drunk
>at the time, "Random Assault for Being Ginger-haired"). My
>grandmother certainly suffered a great deal of taunting due to her
>red hair as a child that she never got over completely; taunters can
>almost never be held accountable because people will simply say it
>was "in good fun."
>Benjamin Barrett
>Seattle, WA
>Learn Ainu!
>On Aug 11, 2013, at 1:46 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
> > In discussing the Ginger Pride Walk, Shawn Hitchins is quoted as saying, =
> > "Even although it isn't a real word, gingerism exists and bullying =
> > exists and you can't deny that kids are being subjected to taunts or =
> > being bullied in schools just for having red hair." =
> > (
> >
> > On Google, that unreal word gets 41K raw hits.
> >
> > Also worthy of note is "gingerphobia," which looks like it's coined =
> > based on "homophobia."
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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