Associated Press

'Redskins' Is Officially a Dictionary-Defined Racial Slur—in All Cases


The R-word is no longer occasionally disparaging and offensive as it is currently defined in the dictionary. From now on, the word is a racial slur in all cases (and it’s about time).

“In our next update, we’re removing ‘often’ so the label just reads ‘Slang: Disparaging and Offensive,’” Jane Solomon, senior content editor and lexicographer at, told MTV has recognized that the word's level of offensiveness has changed over the last half-centry, MTV News said.

New contextual adjustments to the R-word are being made across the board following the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s cancellation of the Washington NFL football team’s name. The recent update, for example, on is one of those adjustments. And the Patent and Trademark Office has already denied six versions of the word: Redskins Fanatics, Redskin Pigskins, Washington Redskins Cheerleaders and Redskins Hog Rinds.

RELATED: Patent Office: Your 'Redskins' Pork Rinds Are Racist, Trademark Denied

RELATED: Indian Country Celebrates Redskins Trademark Revocation; Snyder Resists Name Change, part of Random House Dictionary, was the first dictionary to include an offensive label on ‘redskin’ back in 1966.

“In the 1760s, French colonists translated a Native American self-referential term into the French ‘peau rouge,’ which soon after was translated into the English term ‘redskin,’” Solomon said. “In its early years, ‘redskin’ was used by Native American and white people alike, however its meaning has been loaded with the cultural context of the time. Historical uses of ‘redskin’ have been imbued with contempt and condescension, a fact that comes into play when considering whether or not ‘redskin’ is considered a slur.”

“So, is ‘redskin’ considered a slur?” Solomon added. “Definitely.” 

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fslafountaine's picture
Submitted by fslafountaine on
It is a decision for adults to make, not kids. The term "Redskin" is a term of violence. European Americans coined the term to describe Native Americans as savages. The term "redskin" comes from the fact that when Native Americans killed European-Americans in battle, the heads and bodies of Native Americans would be covered with their enemies' blood. We should not encourage violence by the use of the term "redskin". Native American kids will automatically celebrate this kind of encouragement of violence. The use the term "redskin" needs to be banned, and it's use discouraged.

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