Hello
I've just been taken to task by my wife for using the term ginger in conversation with a friend's son who is red-headed. I'm assured by my wife that ginger is now widely interpretted as a term of abuse ranking alongside ***.
This is news to me. My father was red-haired and went by the nickname of ginger. My best man was also red-faired and was also frequently referred to as ginger. I have nothing but warm feelings towards red-hair and have always thought of ginger as a term of affection so am quite shocked at this new (to me) interpretation.
When did this change of meaning occur?
Thanks
Jeff
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Hello I've just been taken to task by my wife for using the term ginger in conversation with a friend's ... term of affection so am quite shocked at this new (to me) interpretation. When did this change of meaning occur?

The new "meaning" hasn't reached me. "Ginger-haired" means red-headed to me with no negative connotations.
However, if you Google "ginger ***", you do get hits: http://www.chortle.co.uk/interviews/2006/10/19/4579/ginger%3F is that like *** over here%3F

One of the most interesting is that "ginger" is an anagram of "***".

Tony Cooper
Orlando, FL
Hello I've just been taken to task by my wife for using the term ginger in conversation with a friend's ... have always thought of ginger as a term of affection so am quite shocked at this new (to me) interpretation.

It's news to me, as well. And to prove the point, we've even named one of our cats "Ginger" (vulgo "Ginge").
When did this change of meaning occur?

Les
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Hello I've just been taken to task by my wife for using the term ginger in conversation with a friend's ... term of affection so am quite shocked at this new (to me) interpretation. When did this change of meaning occur?

"Ranking alongside ***" sounds a tad hyperbolic, but I've read various articles over the past couple of years that have suggested a bit of heightened militancy about bullying/name-calling of red-heads.

Some people are pretty thin-skinned especially the freckled wonders amongst us..

Cheers, Harvey
CanEng and BrEng, indiscriminately mixed
Hello I've just been taken to task by my wife for using the term ginger in conversation with a friend's ... term of affection so am quite shocked at this new (to me) interpretation. When did this change of meaning occur?

Did it?
I don't hear ginger for redhead very often, but I've never heard a word about it being bad.
Bullying is usually bad, but that doesn't make ginger bad.
Thanks Jeff

If you are inclined to email me
for some reason, remove NOPSAM :-)
I don't hear ginger for redhead very often, but I've never heard a word about it being bad.

I was trying to remember the name of a UK broadcaster, widely reviled, who has ginger hair, but it wouldn't come. I did recall his wife's name however. I typed "ginger *** Billie Piper" into Google, and bingo! Chris Evans.
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I don't hear ginger for redhead very often, but I've never heard a word about it being bad.

I was trying to remember the name of a UK broadcaster, widely reviled, who has ginger hair, but it wouldn't come. I did recall his wife's name however. I typed "ginger *** Billie Piper" into Google, and bingo! Chris Evans.

Based solely on what I've heard on TV: "a ginger" meaning a ginger-haired person is trendily pronounced with both "g"s hard.

Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.english.usage)
Hello I've just been taken to task by my wife for using the term ginger in conversation with a friend's ... affection so am quite shocked at this new (to me) interpretation. When did this change of meaning occur? Thanks Jeff

One of my best friends is left handed and has red hair. He claims that the two traits go together more often than one would expect but I know too few redheads to take a statistically valid survey. Anyone out there have information on this?
From googling, the going estimates of the U.S. population are 6% redheads and 9% left-handed but no mention of the probability of occurrence of both traits simultaneously.
Paul
Hello I've just been taken to task by my wife for using the term ginger in conversation with a friend's ... term of affection so am quite shocked at this new (to me) interpretation. When did this change of meaning occur?

In the 1970s "ginger" was already being used as a term of abuse, although things now seem to have got out of hand:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6725653.stm
Adrian
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