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Hello everyone!

I am reading a book that refers to Polish people as "Poles", is it a rude word?

I have read that it is informal, but it doesn't say whether it is rude or not.

Thanks in advance for your time!
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PuccaDo you mean that "Poles" is just a synonym for "Polish"?
No. "Polish" is usually an adjective, meaning "of or relating to Poland" (as in "the Polish government", "Polish culture").

"Pole" (plural "Poles") is a noun, meaning a Polish person.

Sometimes you might also hear "the Polish" used to mean "the Polish people".
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Comments  
PuccaI am reading a book that refers to Polish people as "Poles", is it a rude word?
No, it's the normal English word for people from Poland.
PuccaI have read that it is informal
That is not correct.
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Do you mean that "Poles" is just a synonym for "Polish"? There is no difference at all?
Mr Wordy
PuccaI have read that it is informal
That is not correct.
Thank god I asked then! Emotion: phew
 Mr Wordy's reply was promoted to an answer.
Yes, I believe that sometimes that word could be used in an

unkind sense. It depends on how you pronounce it and in what

circumstances. I personally would always say "a Polish person"

or "the Polish people." There is also another group of people here

in the United States who should be treated in the same way. To call

that particular group by the proper noun would definitely be considered

rude by many people. I personally subscribe to the theory that -- at

least in English -- the shorter word is ruder than the longer word/term.

Thank you.
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AnonymousYes, I believe that sometimes that word could be used in an
unkind sense. It depends on how you pronounce it and in what
circumstances.
Well, any word can be used unkindly if you say it in a sneering voice in a disparaging context.
AnonymousTo call
that particular group by the proper noun would definitely be considered
rude by many people.
You mean calling people "Poles" is considered rude by many people? That's news to me. In the UK, at least, the word is routinely used by the news media without any hint of disparagement. I also have looked in a number of dictionaries and not one mentions this aspect. There is also an entire Wikipedia article titled "Poles" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poles ). I find it hard to believe that this would have survived if the word was considered offensive.

Would anyone else care to comment on this?
No, I was not referring to the Polish people when I referenced another

group (which I do not wish to specify). By the way, here in the States,

some older people (like me) were used to hearing jokes about Polish

people (I do not want to be specific). I believe that this practice is

dying out with the younger generation.
Thank you for your reply, Mr Wordy!

I have always referred to Polish people just as "Polish", instead of "Poles"!
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AnonymousNo, I was not referring to the Polish people when I referenced another
group (which I do not wish to specify).
So what is the connection with the question? Sorry, I'm kind of lost.
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