Is "Injun" offensive to you?
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View Poll Results: Are you offended, or do you think it's offensive to call the Indian Head Penny an "Injun"

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  • Yes

    41 14.54%
  • No

    183 64.89%
  • Well, now that I think about it...

    7 2.48%
  • I don't care

    51 18.09%
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Thread: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

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  1. #1
    Sep 2006
    135 times
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    Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Believe me... I am NOT the "thought police" OR the "language police".

    I do however have opinions, and this has been bugging me for a while.

    So, I was wondering... do you think it's offensive to Native American's, Indian's, or to yourself, or whomever they are or whatever the current politically correct term might be, to use the derogatory term "Injun" when talking about the Indian Head Penny.

    The fact is that the term was derogatory from it's inception.

    I'm just curious... comment if you like, vote if you can...

  2. #2

    May 2005
    52 times

    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Injun Joe; Twain

    honest Injun (occ. 'Indian'): 'Honour bright!', you can take my word for it: orig. early 1880s, US; in Brit. use by c. 1895, mostly owing to the popularity of Mark Twain's books;

    John T. McCutcheon
    Chicago Tribune
    September 30, 1907
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Use the term when and where I want.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    all have a good un.........

    In the academies many books, at the circus many sacks of peanuts, at the club rooms many cigar butts.

  3. #3
    PBK is offline

    May 2005
    231 times

    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Jim
    The fact is that the term was derogatory from it's inception.
    Actually, it is simply a phonetic spelling of a colloquial or dialectical pronunciation of the word Indian.

    If one chooses to regard it as offensive, then of course it certainly can be— as in the case of dialectical corruption of the word Negro. Anybody can take offense at anything... and nowadays many do. Arkansas State University, whose athletic teams have been heretofore proudly known as the Indians, is now the last school on the NCAA's original list of 19 schools with "hostile or abusive" nicknames. One might ask why it is "hostile or abusive" to honor the strength, courage, and proud spirit of a people by choosing to name a team for them, but never mind: a committee is now searching for a new team name.

    I suppose next the University of Arkansas will be required to abandon the name Razorbacks and nickname Hogs in order to placate those religions to whom such beasts are an abomination.

    Incidentally, I have a certain amount of Indian ancestry and have lived my entire life in a region in which there are many Indians (or, if you prefer, Native Americans). Only within recent years and the advent of "political correctness" have I ever known or heard of anyone who found Injun offensive.

    That said, no, I don't use the word— and yes, I think we ought to respect one another's feelings in such matters. However, I do not intend to delete it unless I am convinced that someone sincerely feels it to be seriously and deliberately offensive.

    diggummup likes this.

  4. #4
    Jun 2006
    6 times

    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    It's only offensive if by saying the word, the intent is to offend. Make sense?

    SanMan and FriscoT06 like this.

  5. #5

    Mar 2005
    Minelab Explorer SE/Garrett GTI 2500/ Ace 250
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    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    no im not offended by it.
    SanMan likes this.
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  6. #6

    May 2005
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    White's IDX Pro, Vibraprobe 570, Minelab Explorer XS w/ Sunray X-1 Probe & Sunray Stealth X-12 DD Coil
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    History, Metal Detecting, and Survival & Self-Sufficiency

    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Since I am Native American (Cherokee & Lakota), I don't really care for the term...
    I'm not easily "offended", but I still don't particularly like the term.
    But use it as you'd like. I can overlook it... I can be pretty thick-skinned sometimes, if needs be.

    Bran <><
    SanMan, Deep1 and Flipperfla like this.
    Rom. 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

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  7. #7
    Sep 2006
    135 times
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    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Excellent and well thought out responses...

    Upon rereading my original post I wish I had written this line differently; "I do however have opinions, and this has been bugging me for a while". Instead I wished I had written a clearer meaning of my thoughts, which would now say: "I do however have opinions, and have been wanting to ask your opinions as well". The term itself has not been bugging me, more like the posting the question to you all has been gnawing at me...

    After reading the book The Language Police by Diane Ravitch I see all forms of what would be derogatory terms a little differently now... although I don't buy into the hype, I am very conscious of how these terms are used in society anymore. Much like the examples PBK wrote about.

    In addition, and a great reason I recommend the book I mentioned... is this fact: Conducting a quick research of the term "Injun" returned to me time and again what I posted above: "... that the term was derogatory from it's inception." and couldnt find ONE note that stated what PBK wrote, which is that the term: " simply a phonetic spelling of a colloquial or dialectical pronunciation of the word Indian."
    I of course bow to PBK's expertise in the written language, and appreciate his input.

    Bran - You are doing well to keep things in perspective, and realizing that the term, which certainly can be derogatory - probebly never is when used in the capacity asked obout here... reguarding the Indian Head penny... Good for you.

    Interesting... and, a very smart crowd here in MY opinion... not that that means a damned thing on payday.

  8. #8
    Aug 2005
    24 times

    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Since my Grandmother was half Indian, I figure my opinion should be counted also. It does not bother me at all. What bothers me more is all this PC crap that is running rampant in or society. I am made up of German, Indian and English. So I guess you could call me a "mean drunk" who enjoys a nice relaxing cup of tea.
    Butter Hat, smallfoot and SanMan like this.
    MXT,&nbsp; and just dumb luck.

  9. #9
    May 2007
    Western Colorado
    377 times

    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    It makes absolutely no difference to me who uses the term,
    as long as there are no predjudices involved.

    It is an archaic term and I hear it so infrequenly it doesn't phase me one way or another.
    the prejudices on the other hand will and do bother me,
    I have many friends who are american Indian and they ere some of the finest hardest working folks I am proud to know.
    Most of them I call friends.

    SanMan likes this.
    "Everybody dies"
    "But not everybody lives."

  10. #10
    Charter Member

    Jun 2006
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    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?


    I would imagine that if anyone was really offended by the term, and PM'ed the moderators about it, some posts might have to be changed.

    That said, I also think one has to pick their arguments very carefully here on Tnet. I have been the recipient of everything from praise to prejudice in my time here. (Those damned professors like me--we just think we're all smarter than everyone else, and we don't even work for a living...oh--and we make SO much money ) I guess my point is that everyone is prejudiced in some way against something. I don't detect anything about the phrase's use here that strikes me as prejudiced. So I think if I were to have a "squaring off" as they say, it certainly wouldn't be over a word that is meant in a harmless way.

    I think this tendency is similar to the misnomer "Mercury Dime" instead of "Winged Liberty Dime." For some, these phrases were learned from their parents--or others--who referred to the coins a certain way. We each have our own jargon when it comes to metal detecting as well as numismatics. Besides, I find the idea of a "Zincoln" much more offensive (not the term itself, but when I dig a hole to find one). 8)

    smallfoot likes this.
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  11. #11
    Dec 2005
    Eugene, Oregon
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    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    I live in a town where most of the populace is looking for some reason to be offended. Gays, lesbians, trannies, and hippies of all races, colors and creeds. And yet I've never met a more bigoted bunch.

    Personally, I couldn't care less.

    To me, AIM stands for "a-holes in moccasins". That comes from a Lakota....

  12. #12
    Sep 2006
    135 times
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    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by TreasureTales
    Doesn't bother me in the least, either. I'm a very small percentage Indian and I'd rather be called an Injun or a blanket ___ than some of the other things that I've been called here - yet NOBODY started a thread about the use of those terms. But I guess it's ok to be called a racist and a bigot and a Nazi and a ***** and a liar, etc. with all the hate imaginable than it is to be called an Injun. Hmmm, what's wrong with that picture?

    Sorry, MJ, but this is just so unimportant in the context with which I've seen the word used.
    No reason to be sorry... it's just a question about the word in reference to the penny... I realize there coulda been more important and globaly significant terms I coulda asked about... but this was simply it

  13. #13

    Dec 2007
    2 times

    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Since I am Native American (Cherokee & Lakota), I don't really care for the term...
    I'm not easily "offended", but I still don't particularly like the term.
    But use it as you'd like. I can overlook it... I can be pretty thick-skinned sometimes, if needs be.

    Bran <><
    I'm also Cherokee, as well as Scottish, English, Irish, German, French, and Dutch. Basically, most of my ancestors took advantage of the rest of my ancestors! I understand that political correctness is tiresome to most, but I think there is a larger issue at play here. The "what about my feelings?" attitude seems to be under the surface of many of the protests about political correctness.

    I've always thought the term was derogatory from its inception not because it was a dialectical corruption of the word "Indian", but because the native people continue to be labeled Indian long after Columbus realized that he had not found a new trade route to India after all. In other words, it's bad enough that the European settlers (again, most of my ancestors) stole the Native American's land, decimated their (or "our", as I include the rest of my ancestry) populations through war and disease (smallpox blankets, anyone?). But to continue to call them Indians after over 500 years of getting the shaft is a bit callous, to say the least. I've got nothing against the great state of Illinois, but as a native Texan, I know I'd be pretty upset if someone referred to me as anything but.

    Deep1 likes this.

  14. #14
    da book worm--researcher

    Feb 2007
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    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    being a fair part native american -- I would like the term "indian head cent" or "IH cent" used --which is what its name is actually -- injun -- is "low down" slang or a "slur" word -- and not very polite slang at best. --- folks would not think its ok to use N word --which came into used because NIGER valley slaves were known to be hard working , intelligent and peaceful natured thus a "ideal" slave thus the slave markteers used the word on the ads for slave sale posters in hopes of fetching a high price for their high "quality" slaves --- word corruption led to a extra "g" being added over time -- the word offends because it means basically "you'd be a great slave" --- of course theres the S word for hispanics because they "no speak" the language -- the word is used to mean your stupid since you don't speak english thus why its offensive -- ah then theres the M word for the irish because the names of had Mc or Mac in them (thus depersonizing them )--- or the "W" word for italians since many of the poorer ones who could not afford to pay for some one in the old country to pre do their paper work so came over without their paper work in order or "With Out Papers" --it means you come from poor or "low class" stock .
    ah "gringo" is not a nice word either since it means --white folks who do not want mexicans to come back to their former lands that they once owned--- after the texas revolt and when it joined into the states the former mexican land owners fled to avoid the fighting tried to return and file claims on their families land that they used to own (there was only a very short period of time given to file a claim) and you had to get permission to cross the border -- often a very long process ---- so the mexicans would try to sneak in so they could file their claim in time---often they were caught by the "green coated" border agents and barred from entry thus missing the filing deadlines and losing their lands in the process --thus those in the "green coats" stole their "rights" from them in their view --so the "green coats " were racist mexican haters to them -- over time it became--- "gringos"

    funny thing how once you see the history behiind racial "slur" words -- you can see why their offensiveto others most of the time.

    SanMan likes this.

  15. #15
    Sep 2006
    135 times
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    Re: Is "Injun" offensive to you?

    Thank you for your input everyone...

    OUTSTANDING responses...

    This is NOT a political soap box even though terms and lanuage reflects various political mindsets. I'm simply curious as to how individuals feel about the term being used when speaking about the Penny...


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