noun• dated • offensive
Redskin is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the Delaware (who lived in what is now southern New York State and New York City, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania). Redskin referred not to the natural skin color of the Delaware, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint. In time, however, through a process that in linguistics is called pejoration, by which a neutral term acquires an unfavorable connotation or denotation, redskin lost its neutral, accurate descriptive sense and became a term of disparagement. Red man is first recorded in the early 17th century and was originally neutral in tone. Red Indian is first recorded in the early 19th century and was used by the British, far more than by Americans, to distinguish the Indians of the subcontinent from the Indians of the Americas. All three terms are dated or offensive. American Indian and Native American are now the standard umbrella terms. Of course, if it is possible or appropriate, one can also use specific tribal names (Cheyenne, Nez Percé, etc.).
More definitions of redskinDefinition of redskin in:
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