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"Poles" or "Polish people" - which is better to use?

Frank Threads: 27
Posts: 1,339
Joined: Aug 14, 2006
  ♂ Edited by: Frank  Oct 23, 2006, 02:14pm  #

Guys, I felt from the off, that using the first listed, wasn't quite as the Polish people would prefer to be referred to by English speakers. The fact that its another word in current usage, plus not flattering in its use means it could be construed as a less than positive way of referring to the Polish person/population.

Secondly, can anyone tell me when/where the Pole (as used as a description of the Polish people) word came from/started?

Does it matter which word is used to Polish people?

Finally, does any other language use another word, other than the direct translation for Polish, which is frowned on by Polish people?

hello   Oct 23, 2006, 02:24pm  #

I think Polish people prefer to be called "Polish people" than "Poles"... :)

Wroclaw Threads: 73
Posts: 7,307
Joined: Apr 1, 2006
  ♂ Oct 23, 2006, 02:40pm  #

This is a strange one. I use the term Poles on this web-site because other Polish people use it. But I never use it at other times. I usually use "Polish people". In light of what I have just said on another thread I'll use "Polish People" from now on.

gueststar   Oct 23, 2006, 02:51pm  #

I think, the world Pole has more informal meaning. Like you are talking to your old friend. It is how it sounds to me. Sure it can be negative or positive, depending on the context.

gueststar   Oct 23, 2006, 02:53pm  #

sorry, 'world' must be 'word' in above post.

Matyjasz Threads: 2
Posts: 1,782
Joined: Jul 20, 2006
  ♂ Oct 23, 2006, 05:11pm  #

Quoting: Frank, Post #1
Guys, I felt from the off, that using the first listed, wasn't quite as the Polish people would prefer to be referred to by English speakers.



I always wanted to be referred as the Sexy Polish Prince of Promiscuous Rodeo, but sadly somehow people tend to ignore my request and call me just by my first name or my nick name. :( :)

And seriously, lets don't get ahead of the facts please. The word Pole is just a short version of the word Polish guy, and since it's more economical to produce it I will continue to describe myself with that term. You never know what the future will bring, but I never heard English people use this word as a insult. I heard that in the USA the word “Pollock” is considered to be a derogatory word, but not Pole. I appreciate your concern, but lets not get paranoid and neurotic. :)

Quoting: Frank, Post #1
Finally, does any other language use another word, other than the direct translation for Polish, which is frowned on by Polish people?



What does the word "frowned" mean? :)

Frank Threads: 27
Posts: 1,339
Joined: Aug 14, 2006
  ♂ Oct 23, 2006, 05:19pm  #

Not well thought of, looked down on.........that sort of thing.......Mr sexy Polish prince of PR.......bit long winded that one .....!

Matyjasz Threads: 2
Posts: 1,782
Joined: Jul 20, 2006
  ♂ Oct 23, 2006, 05:34pm  #

Ohhh...Besides "Polock" nothing else springs to my mind.

Quoting: Frank, Post #9
Mr sexy Polish prince of PR......


O yeah! :)

sarah   Oct 24, 2006, 04:21am  #

I have never thought about it i have never used the word pole's until i came to this forum and it is just so much easier to type poles then polish people but any other time i would say polish people x

kryzs   Nov 19, 2006, 02:54pm  #

If you ask an american, he would rather be called American, Instead of westerner.
If you ask a Mexican some of them will tell you hispanic. instead of Mexican.
I would rather be called Polish . Not Pole. My cousin says Pollack..
If you ask a Irannian he will say Middle Eastern.


So who really knows.

ola123   Nov 19, 2006, 03:20pm  #

I think that if ppl from Poland are called Poles then ppl from Holland should be called Holes :).

Arien   Nov 19, 2006, 03:46pm  #

Quoting: ola123, Post #11
I think that if ppl from Poland are called Poles then ppl from Holland should be called Holes .


I prefer the word polish. -check your dictionary?- in my honest opinion, I think the usage of the word poles would be favoured by people who like to sound slightly illiterate or even worse, use this on purpose to ridicule the polish..

poles: a pole man? a pole woman? the poles? hehe.. sorry, but polish: a polish man. a polish woman. the polish just sounds and reads much better doesn't it?

holes? hmm.. hehe.. -lol- that's most defenitely a no no girl. - wanna fight?!- :)

I think the polish are proud people, and deserve a normal usage of the word to describe their nationality. feel free to disagree. just like ola perfectly demonstrated, I wouldn't like to be called a hole either..

p.s. petty discussions are cool. so let's raise hands. :)

Kubelek   Dec 1, 2006, 05:31pm  #

i didn't write that, i'm just citing (unfortunately i don't remember whom)

English gives us a few contrasting pairs between nationality and ethnicity, notably with the -ish countries:
Spanish / Spaniard
Scottish / Scotsman
Swedish / Swede
Danish / Dane
Finnish / Finn
Polish / Pole
Turkish / Turk
French / Frenchman
Dutch / Dutchman
Chinese / Chinaman (not much used these days)

With Arab/Arabian/Arabic, we get all distinct adjectives for people, place, and language. :)


so there's no reason to be offended when someone calls you a Pole :/ It's rarely meant to be pejorative, from what I've noticed. Native English speakers I know tend to use it interchangabely with "Polish person".

Pollack/Pollock/other variant of spelling is disparaging though. It's quite "popular" actually, you hear it a lot in Polish jokes.

I didn't mind being called Pollack in jokes by my good friends - I would retort with a "Frog" to my French friends then or a similar "appropriate" epithet :) Depends on the context I suppose

btw about "holes"... "Dutch" used to be belittling too. This use still survives in fixed phrases like Dutch courage, double Dutch, go Dutch...

Firestorm Threads: 7
Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 29, 2006
  ♂ Aug 20, 2007, 11:40am  #

Topic attached on merging:
Poland: Poles - Holland: Holes?


If people from Poland are called "Poles," why aren't people from Holland called "Holes"?

Firestorm Threads: 7
Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 29, 2006
  ♂ Aug 20, 2007, 11:41am  #

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, d
oesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted,
musicians denoted,
cowboys deranged,
models deposed,
tree surgeons debarked and drycleaners depressed?

glowa Threads: 1
Posts: 305
Joined: Apr 6, 2006
  ♂ Edited by: glowa  Aug 20, 2007, 11:47am  #

haha, this is a nice word play. good to learn

Quoting: Firestorm
If people from Poland are called "Poles," why aren't people from Holland called "Holes"?


what woud the Russian and Belgian be in this scheme?
Rolls, Balls?

the Dutch don't like to word Holland too much.

Firestorm Threads: 7
Posts: 505
Joined: Nov 29, 2006
  ♂ Edited by: Firestorm  Aug 20, 2007, 11:54am  #

If people from Poland are called Poles.
Why arent People from Holland called Holes..? Lol
Opps/ I couldnt figre out how to delete this.. Soz

Michal Threads: -
Posts: 2,398
Joined: Feb 27, 2007
  ♂ Aug 20, 2007, 02:36pm  #

Quoting: glowa
ren't people from Holland called "Holes"?

Because the word Holland only technically refers to a few states within the country. Nederlands is the official word. Where you you live? Waar woon je eigenlijk? Ik woon in het nederlands, I live in Holland. But a dutchman is a nederlander. Ik ben een nederlander-I am a Dutchman.

Michal Threads: -
Posts: 2,398
Joined: Feb 27, 2007
  ♂ Aug 20, 2007, 02:38pm  #

Further as P.S. Ik spreek nederlands-I speak Dutch. The lowlands is the correct version of the country as it encompasses all the provinces.

Michal Threads: -
Posts: 2,398
Joined: Feb 27, 2007
  ♂ Aug 21, 2007, 09:33am  #

Quoting: Firestorm
Why arent People from Holland called Holes..? Lol

People from Holland are called Dutch. This is because people, mainly the English, could not differentiate them from the Germans, i.e. the Deutsch folk, hence the word Dutch.

turkishfriend Threads: 7
Posts: 49
Joined: Aug 12, 2007
  ♂ Aug 21, 2007, 09:50am  #

polishpeople looks nicer!

tornado2007 Threads: 19
Posts: 3,347
Joined: Jul 11, 2007
  ♂ Aug 21, 2007, 09:56am  #

poles, its just simpler that way

Michal Threads: -
Posts: 2,398
Joined: Feb 27, 2007
  ♂ Aug 21, 2007, 12:49pm  #

Most people know them as 'the Poles'.

Lady in red   Aug 21, 2007, 05:27pm  #

Quoting: Michal
Most people know them as 'the Poles'.



Well, i think the term 'Poles' isn't correct and I don't like its usage in any context. Polish should be used.

Michal has used this in a negative way on this forum previously
so, for me, any comment from him regarding this will be totally ignored. It's a worthless comment from him !!

Michal Threads: -
Posts: 2,398
Joined: Feb 27, 2007
  ♂ Aug 25, 2007, 01:08pm  #

Quoting: Lady in red
ell, i think the term 'Poles' isn't correct and I don't like its usage in any context. Polish should be used.

Michal has used this in a negative way on this forum previously
so, for me, any comment from him regarding this will be totally ignored. It's a worthless comment from him !!

A Pole is someone from Poland. What is your problem? Have you invested your life savings in stocks and shares in Polish vocabulary building or something? Technically speaking, Polish is an adjective so it would be a Polish person but a Pole. He/she is a Pole. Who says he/she is a Polish?

Lady in red   Aug 25, 2007, 03:13pm  #

Quoting: Michal
A Pole is someone from Poland.



Show me an english dictionary that states that then !!

BubbaWoo Threads: 44
Posts: 4,429
Joined: Sep 26, 2006
  ♂ Aug 25, 2007, 03:32pm  #

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source

Pole /poʊl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[pohl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun a native or inhabitant of Poland.

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pole

Wyspianska   Aug 25, 2007, 03:38pm  #

Ha, full page of conversation and finally one last post gives constructive answer o.O

telefonitika   Aug 25, 2007, 03:45pm  #

i always think when i hear the word "pole" something that is stuck in the ground or you can dance around

for a person that originates from Poland i prefer to use the term "Polish" as where i am from im referred to as "English" ... i would certainly never say i am a Doncastarian which is what a person from Doncaster is called!

:D

Lady in red   Aug 25, 2007, 03:46pm  #

yeah fair enough bubba........I still don't like the reference to it in this forum by some people who have used it in a negative and derogatory fashion.

I was educated at Polish school that using the word "Poles' was offensive. Maybe times have changed recently......and opinions on the use of it also. I acknowledge that.

:)



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"Poles" or "Polish people" - which is better to use?

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