Mixed In Different Shades

exploring the history and experiences of mixed heritage persons and inter-racial relationships across the world

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Home What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

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Spanish Casta PaintingMany languages have evolved names for mixed heritage people in their societies, some words being borrowed from other cultures and languages. Some of the terms have derogatory meaning in one part of the world and are entirely acceptable and proudly borne in other parts of the world.

Below is a table of terms used to describe some of mixed heritage people. It is interesting to note that some of the terms refer to actual ethnic groups where the offspring of two members of the same group are still regarded as mixed heritage.

 

  

Multi-Racial
Multi-Ethnic
Mixed Heritage
Mixed Race
Bi-Racial
Dual Heritage

Politically correct terms being used to describe people of two or multiple race or heritage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiracial

Creole

Used in many different ways and not always necessarily but usually referring to ethnic groups of people of mixed heritage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creole

Mixed-Blood

Sometimes used in place of mixed race. Considered derogatory by some. Originally used in the USA and Canada with for offspring of fur traders and native Indians.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed-blood

Half-caste
Half-cast

A term used to describe people of mixed race or ethnicity and now regarded as a derogatory term in most parts of the world. The term originates from the Indian caste system, where a person of 'lesser' or half-caste would be deemed to be of a 'lower class'. The word caste may come from the Portuguese casta meaning race. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-caste

Half-breed

Mixed Native American (especially North American) and white European parentage. Métis is a French term for half-breed. Considered an impolite and rude offensive slur by almost everyone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-breed

Amerasian

Two similar definitions exist but basically a person who has a US Citizen and an Asian parent. Note that a person born to an African-American and an Asian would qualify. Not considered derogatory.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerasian

Afro-Asian
Blasian
Blackenese
Chinegro

Cultural terms that refer to people of mixed Sub-Saharan African or African American and Asian ancestry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-Asian

Eurasian

People of mixed Asian and European ancestry. Originally used in British India to refer to those of mixed British and Indian descent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_(mixed_ancestry)

Anglo-Indian

People who have mixed Indian and British ancestry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Indian

Afro-European

People of mixed European and African descent, especially in the former European colonies
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-European

Dougla

Used in Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago to describe people who are 1st generation Afro-Trinidadian and Tobagonian-Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian descent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dougla

Kaffir

Derogatory term used in Southern Africa for non-whites particularly African Black but also used against anyone with any Black ancestry. Arabic word meaning non-believer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_(racial_term)

Hapa

Asian Pacific Islanders of mixed race heritage. Originally a Hawaiian non-racial word meaning “part” or “mixed” but the current use seems to come from the term ‘hapa haole’ meaning “half foreigner”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hapa

Assimilados

Portuguese, meaning the assimilated – though not strictly a term for mixed heritage people – it was applied mainly to mixed race people who received formal education and fully adopted Portuguese customs. It was really relevant in the African provinces/colonies where the European population was rather small.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assimilados

Mestizo

(Spanish casta/caste) Persons with one European parent and one Indian parent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mestizo

Castizo

(Spanish casta/caste) People with one Mestizo parent and one European parent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castizo

Cholo
Coyote

(Spanish casta/caste) Persons with one Indian parent and one Mestizo parent. Also used as a derogatory slur.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholos

Mulatto

(Spanish casta/caste) Persons of the first generation of a European and Black mix.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulatto

Pardo

Brazilian Portuguese for Brown people. Used in Brazil to cover a variety of mixed heritages.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardo

Caboclo

A person of mixed Brazilian Indian and European or African ancestry, a specific type of mestiço.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caboclo

Morisco

(Spanish casta/caste) Person of Mulatto and European parents.
Has another religious meaning see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morisco

Quadroon

(Spanish casta/caste) Person of mixed-race with one-fourth African and three-fourths Caucasian ancestry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadroon

Octoroon

(Spanish casta/caste) One African great-grandparent and seven Caucasian great-grandparents.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadroon

Zambo
Lobo
Cafuzo (Portugese)

(Spanish casta/caste) Persons who were of mixed Indian and Black ancestry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zambo

Sambo

Person with mixed Amerindian and African heritage (see zambo) . Also used less specifically for a black person in the United States and the United Kingdom as a racial slur.

Chino

(Spanish casta/caste) Someone of Mulatto and Indian parents.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casta

Black Indian

In the USA, people of African-American descent, usually with significant Native American ancestry but have strong Native American culture, social and historical traditions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Indians_in_the_United_States

Cafres
Kafs

People born in Réunion of Malagasy and/or African often mixed origins. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cafres

Hafu

Japanese for somebody who is ethnically half Japanese that is biracial. The word hafu comes from the English word "half" indicating half foreign-ness.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafu

Marabou

Haitian term for the offspring of a person of mixed race: black African/European and East Indian ancestry, born in Haiti.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marabou_(ethnicity)

Redbone

A term used in much of the southern United States and by West Indians implying race mixture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redbone_(ethnicity)

Rhineland Bastards

A derogatory term used in Nazi Germany to describe Afro-German people who were fathered by French colonial troops occupying the Rhineland after World War I
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhineland_Bastards

Zerbadee

A derogatory term for mixed descendants of Indian males and Burmese females in Burma

Kosian
Onnurian

A person of mixed Korean and non-Korean parents - usually used to refer to the offspring of a Korean father and non-Korean mother usually other Asian. The term Kosian was originally used by intercultural families to refer to themselves but is now is considered offensive by some who prefer to identify themselves as Korean and Amnesty International has claimed that the word represents racial discrimination.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosian

Chindian

A Chindian is a person of both Chinese and Indian ancestry. There are a considerable number of Chindians in Malaysia and Singapore.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chindian

Muladi
Muwallad

A word still used in the Arab world to refer to people with Arab fathers and non-Arab mothers but historically also used to refer to offspring of Muslim converts.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muladi

Luk kreung A luk kreung literally "child half", is a colloquial reference in the Thai language to a person who is of mixed Thai and European origins.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luk_khrueng
   
   

Ethnic Groups (historically mixed heritage communities)

Siddis

An ethnic group in India - descendants of slaves, sailors and servants and from East Africa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddis

Sheedis

An ethnic group in Pakistan - descendants of slaves, sailors and servants and from East Africa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddis

Sri Lanka Kaffir

An ethnic group in Sri Lanka who are partially descended from 16th century Portuguese traders and the African slaves similar to groups known in Pakistan as Sheedis and in India as Siddis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka_Kaffir_people

Burgher

An Eurasian ethnic group, historically from Sri Lanka, consisting for the most part of male-line descendants of European colonists and local women
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgher_people

Métis
Mestee

An indigenous ethnic groups of Canada and the USA who trace their descent to mixed European and First Nations that is Native Indian parentage. Word of French origin.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9tis_people_(Canada)

Tri-racial

Used in the USA to describes populations thought to be of mixed European, sub-Saharan African/African American, and Native American ancestry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-racial

Melungeon

One of the Tri-racial groups (USA). Traditionally considered an insult, a label applied to Appalachian whites who were by appearance or reputation of mixed-race ancestry. Melungeon ancestors are regarded as having been classified in the past as "mulattos", that is, descendants of white Europeans and Africans.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melungeon

Carmel Indians

A group of Melungeons (USA) who have lived in Highland County in the state of Ohio. They are descendants and relatives of the Melungeons of Kentucky.

Chestnut Ridge People
Mayles
Guineas

A mixed-race or "tri-racial isolate" community residing in north-central West Virginia, USA. They are often called Guineas (a pejorative term). Some of them have identified themselves as Melungeon.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chestnut_Ridge_people

Red Bone

An ethnic Métis or tri-racial group found in South Carolina, USA

Shirazi

Ethnic group belived to be descendants from Persian traders who settled along the Swahili Coast
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirazi_(ethnic_group)

Garifuna
Black Carib

An ethnic group of mixed ancestry descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people who live primarily in Central America. Garinagu (plural)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garifuna_people

Kristang

A creole Eurasian ethnic group of people of mixed Portuguese and Malaccan descent based in Malaysia and Singapore. Many people of this ethnicity also have Chinese, Indian and other Asian heritage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristang_people

Lemba
Lembaa

An ethnic group in southern Africa who claim a common descent and belonging to the Jewish people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemba

Mardijker

An ethnic community in modern Jakarta, Indonesia made up of descendants of freed slaves of Indian ancestry, and speak a Portuguese patois.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mardijker_people

Miskitos

An African-Indigenous mixture group of Native Americans in Central America.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miskitos

Basters
Baasters
Rehobothers
Rehoboth Basters

Ethnic group who are the descendants of the Cape Colony Dutch and indigenous African women. They largely live in Namibia and are similar to Coloured or Griqua people in South Africa. The name is derived from the Dutch word for ‘bastard’ or ‘crossbreed'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basters

Griqua

Ethnic group of people who originated from the European colonists in the Cape and the Khoikhoi similar to the Basters
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griqua

Coloured
Bruinmense
Kleurlinge
Bruin Afrikaners

An ethnic group of mixed-race people
in the Southern African, (South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe) mostly of European/African descent though in the Cape does include other mixes of Malay, Indian and other East Indies people. Considered a derogatory term in the West Indies where it was also used for non-mixed black people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coloured

Goffal

Cultural term used by Zimbabwean coloureds to describe themselves
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goffal

Fernandino

Creole, multi-ethnic or multi-race populations of Equatorial Guinea and former Spanish Guinea
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernandino

Chitty
Indian Peranakans

A distinctive ethnic group of Tamil people found mainly in Malacca and Singapore, they are descendants of Tamil traders and local Malays and Chinese settlers. They are nearly extinct as they have been mostly assimilated in the local populations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chitty

Peranakan
Baba-Nyonya

Means 'descendant' in Malasian/Indonesian. Originally, the Peranakan were mixed-race descendents, part Chinese, part Malay/Indonesian.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peranakan

Black Dutchman
Belanda Hitam
Zwarte Hollanders

The mixed descendants of the 3,000 Africans recruited as soldiers through the Dutch colony of Elmina -part of Ghana - during the Indonesian uprising.  Many settled and married local Indonesians. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwarte_Hollanders

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 13:01