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


Frank Activity: 24 / 1,188
Joined: 14 Aug 2006 ♂
 
23 Oct 2006  #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. 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  
23 Oct 2006  #2

I think Polish people prefer to be called "Polish people" than "Poles"... :)
Wroclaw Activity: 50 / 5,493
Joined: 1 Apr 2006 ♂
 
23 Oct 2006  #3

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  
23 Oct 2006  #4

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.

sorry, 'world' must be 'word' in above post.
Matyjasz Activity: 2 / 1,547
Joined: 20 Jul 2006 ♂
 
23 Oct 2006  #5

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. :)

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 Activity: 24 / 1,188
Joined: 14 Aug 2006 ♂
 
23 Oct 2006  #6

Not well thought of, looked down on.........that sort of thing.......Mr sexy Polish prince of PR.......bit long winded that one .....!
Matyjasz Activity: 2 / 1,547
Joined: 20 Jul 2006 ♂
 
23 Oct 2006  #7

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

Mr sexy Polish prince of PR......


O yeah! :)
sarah  
24 Oct 2006  #8

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  
19 Nov 2006  #9

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  
19 Nov 2006  #10

I think that if ppl from Poland are called Poles then ppl from Holland should be called Holes :).
Arien  
19 Nov 2006  #11

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  
1 Dec 2006  #12

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 Activity: 6 / 412
Joined: 29 Nov 2006 ♂
 
20 Aug 2007  #13

Poland: Poles - Holland: Holes?

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

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 Activity: 1 / 292
Joined: 6 Apr 2006 ♂
 
20 Aug 2007  #14

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

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 Activity: 6 / 412
Joined: 29 Nov 2006 ♂
 
20 Aug 2007  #15

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 Activity: - / 1,871
Joined: 27 Feb 2007 ♂
 
20 Aug 2007  #16

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.

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.

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 Activity: 4 / 31
Joined: 12 Aug 2007 ♂
 
21 Aug 2007  #17

polishpeople looks nicer!
tornado2007 Activity: 11 / 2,290
Joined: 11 Jul 2007 ♂
 
21 Aug 2007  #18

poles, its just simpler that way
Michal Activity: - / 1,871
Joined: 27 Feb 2007 ♂
 
21 Aug 2007  #19

Most people know them as 'the Poles'.
Lady in red  
21 Aug 2007  #20

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 Activity: - / 1,871
Joined: 27 Feb 2007 ♂
 
25 Aug 2007  #21

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  
25 Aug 2007  #22

A Pole is someone from Poland.



Show me an english dictionary that states that then !!
BubbaWoo Activity: 35 / 3,538
Joined: 26 Sep 2006 ♂
 
25 Aug 2007  #23

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.

dictionary.reference.com/browse/pole
Wyspianska  
25 Aug 2007  #24

Ha, full page of conversation and finally one last post gives constructive answer o.O
telefonitika  
25 Aug 2007  #25

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  
25 Aug 2007  #26

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.

:)
Wyspianska  
25 Aug 2007  #27

something that is stuck in the ground or you can dance around

Thats even nice association, isnt it? :P
Lady in red  
25 Aug 2007  #28

prefer to use the term "Polish"



so do I.......and thats what I wrote on here.........

:)
Wroclaw Activity: 50 / 5,493
Joined: 1 Apr 2006 ♂
 
25 Aug 2007  #29

My two ha' penny. The Polish / Polish people. .

Which is not exactly what I wrote in post number three.
Michal Activity: - / 1,871
Joined: 27 Feb 2007 ♂
 
26 Aug 2007  #30

I went to the A3 car boot this morning and their was a stand run by Poles selling all sorts of things-wooden Russian babushka dolls as well as Second World War German swaztika badges. When I asked him that I thought that the Poles hated the Nazis yet you are selling their memorabila for £12." He replied "It is not me it is the English I am selling them as it is the English who love to buy" What an idiot. One minute they hate the Germans and then want to profit from such sales.



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