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I'm aware that gook is racial slang for a Korean. But lately, it's been brought to my attention that it's also for those who are Vietnamese.

I think it's rather obvious that it's used for Koreans because gook in Korean refers to people of a nationality.
Me being the loser I am, looked up how it applies to both Koreans and Viets, it seems that:

Gook originally derived from the Korean War, when American soldiers picked it up from the korean language.
After the korean war, the same soldiers who participated in the Korean war, ended up in the Vietnamese war, carrying with them the stereotype that asians are identical, and calling them gooks as well.

So there you go.

Sometimes, I joke with my friends, referring to myself as a gookor even a chink (and yes, I'm aware it's for Chinese). However, I'm sure if someone had called me one in an offensive way, I'd protest. Like the word, nigger, do you think it's appropriate in any way? Is it completely different?

Should one be proud to be a gook? Or just korean? Even jokingly?


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 30th, 2006 02:19 am (UTC)
Shut up.
Dec. 30th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
What a brilliant reply.
Dec. 30th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
It was fitting.
Dec. 30th, 2006 07:01 am (UTC)
Not... really. Care to explain?
Dec. 30th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
I guess it's sort of like "nigger." If it is, then "gook" is one of those words that most people think is okay if the person saying it is also a "gook," but is inappropriate/offensive if the person isn't.

Personally, I would be at least somewhat offended if someone referred to me as a "gook" in normal conversation (i.e. out of the historical context), even if that person was Korean and didn't mean for it to be rude.

I'm pretty sure that when American soldiers started using the word "gook," they meant for it to be derogatory, but I could be mistaken.
Dec. 30th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
I always thought that being proud of being a nigger, chink, or whatever is really lame. Proud to be African American? Fine with me. Proud to be a nigger, as in a black person who purposely speaks crappy English, supports the Black Panthers, and is into bling bling? If you're proud of those qualities, I guess you're stupid then.
Dec. 30th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
Actually, I think the truly stupid person is the one who has an uninformed, one-dimensional view of what a constitutes a "nigger."
Dec. 30th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
Oh please, you're not going to jump into a long-winded argument on the etymology of "nigger," are you? You do know that the term has changed over a couple hundred years, right?
Jan. 2nd, 2007 01:33 pm (UTC)
Have pride in whatever you think you are. Different races, and most definitely different areas of the world, take pride in all kinds of things. Just because it's different from what you or I take pride in doesn't mean it's wrong. Besides, do you want everyone to be the same in the first place? Without controversy and opinions, our world wouldn't be very interesting.
Dec. 30th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
If someone called me a gook, the first thing that would pop into my mind would be "what about soup?"

It would take me a while for it to register that it was meant to be derogatory. I don't really hear anyone say gook a lot. It's always chink.
Dec. 30th, 2006 03:32 am (UTC)
hey, same here.

if someone called me a gook, i'd laugh and explain to the person (if the person was not korean) that it means soup, even if the other person did it intentionally.

i'm just not offended if someone 'stereotyped' me with that. of course, i don't speak for the entire korean population.
Dec. 30th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
I find chink more offensive, just because I think it's incredibly stupid to think that the Chinese and Koreans are one and the same.
Dec. 30th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)
I was just trying to see how some people interpret it, or what their reactions are. And no, I'm not an proud AZN who TyPeS lYkE DiS.
Dec. 30th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
i read in a book about the factor of race during the war between the united states and japan in 1941-45 that gook was derived from "goo goo eyes," or something, a term americans used for filipinos during the philippine american war.
Dec. 30th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
Actually, I don't think that's where the word "gook" came from.

I think it's from the Korean word for American, "migook," which the soldiers interpreted as "me gook" in English.
Dec. 30th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
According to Wikipedia, you are indeed correct. :)

Dec. 30th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)
In our current state of society, those who have racial issues with Asians are so few and ineffective that I only tend to feel sorry for anyone who would call me a "gook" and actually mean it offensively.

I think it's different for groups who do get a disproportionate amount of shit from society. Like Muslims right after 9/11.
Dec. 30th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC)
I'm proud to be Korean, but I wouldn't ever be proud to be called a gook. Go get any non-black person to ask a black person if they would be proud of being called the n-word, and I'm sure you will get a similar response.

At its heart it's a derogatory term, and there's nothing to be proud of in being called something like that.
Dec. 30th, 2006 06:50 pm (UTC)
My thoughts on "gook":

It's bad enough when people mispronounce my Korean last name (which, although Korean, is easy as hell to say correctly in English), and so I'll be damned if I let anyone refer to me using a Korean term that is not only being mispronunced but is also a mistranslation and a misappropriation of the original meaning.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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