Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:14:07 -0500
From: wachal robert s rwachal[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BLUE.WEEG.UIOWA.EDU
Subject: Dutch: ethnic slur compounds
What allows such terms to exist is the prevailing social attitude for a
given county or given social class at a given time, but I'm no expert.
But note the British "French letter" for condom
the French "le vice anglaise" for sad-masochism.
In academic circles I don't hear "to jew someone down" but occasionally
"welch/welsh on a bet"
"Chinese fire drill" seems OK to some (not to me), so maybe it has to do
with salience of the group being put down.
These kinds of terms passed for wit (and some still do( when I was a lad
in the '30's, back when my people ("Bohunks") referred to "sheenies"
I think that politcal correctness has done a lot for this aspect of
language behavior, while often being silly in other contexts.
Oh, well, what the fuck!