Word Police–stop editing our dictionary

[Warning: Not Politically Correct]

The Word Police are at it again.  We aren’t allowed to say the word “thug.”

Thug is NOT a racist word.  It is a term coined back in the olden days to describe a certain type of criminal–almost invariably a white (caucasian) male..

Just consider, please, the uses of the word in common useage… here is a short list, and I apologize if it is narrow in application.  Possibly there is some generation-specific meanings, but none of them refer to any racial group.  Basically there are two main classifications that immediately come to (my) mind:

1. “Jack-booted thugs,” which in common useage refers to military or government troops that go around smashing things and beating people with clubs.  They wear heavy leather-boots that are very effective.  The jack-boots are actually bigger than life, and as the saying goes, twice as ugly.  These are the “storm troopers” of another era, but hey–a thug by any other name is still a thug.

2. so-called “union thugs.”   We heard a lot about these guys back in the days of the union fights.  The picture that one might conjur up is of a stocky muscular white guy–remember Bluto the villain of the Popeye comics?   If not, he  was a big bruiser (another bad word for the Word Police to add to their list) who regularly attempted to whip Popeye’s butt, but always got beaten up himself by the end of the comic strip.

bluto

3. “Street thugs,” as they were known, allegedly blustered about just committing stupid and intimidating actions against innocent bystanders.   My version of these guys includes bullies who beat up other kids in school with no apparent reason (like robbery) but just for the heck of it.

I think it is noteworthy to mention that in other countries, such as the UK and much of Europe, the types of characters I think of as “thugs” — are known as “Hooligans.”

Stereotypical Hooligans are those that show up at soccer (fubol) or other sports events, and if their team doesn’t win (or DOES win, sometimes) take the opportunity to beat up the players, bystanders, fans, passers-by…and create general havoc in stadiums or nearby city streets.

I hasten to point out here that the term “Thug” is relative.  Some people think that I am very opinionated about things like words and…well lots of things.  This is true.

If there is a stereotype thug, then HE (although women can be thugs, they are not usually thought of in that light.  Please don’t take any of my ramblings about  word-use as sexist.    There are special words for women, but all I wish to say about that is that “thug” isn’t really appropriate for a woman.

So–Word Police–please stop looking for excuses to turn everything anyone says into fodder for Political Correctness.

(Most Popeye paraphernalia remains under copyright in the United States until 2024.   This drawing of Bluto is in the public domain.)

4 Comments

    1. I think its a generational thing, maybe regional. My husband always said “nogoodnicks” to refer to the general hoodlum population. My son refers to anyone who is causing any disturbance as “crook,” like on TV it can be anyone who is talking mean…even when its the good guys. Thanks for your comment. Please do visit my blog when you get a chance. 🙂

    1. thanks, I appreciate your comments. I guess my impression of the word comes from studying storm trooper types in World War II and Argentina, Spain, etc. etc…. even prohibition era and union-busting activities. I am a Historian, and much of my terminology comes from references about such groups. I agree that it can be a general term to include people of all races, as thuggery has no divisions. 🙂

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