National Library of Scotland researchers create 257-page guide to offensive words and phrases including ‘fenian’ and ‘hun’


LIBRARY researchers have produced a reader’s guide to offensive phrases – including terms like “jock,” “blue nose,” and “fenian.”

Boffins created the 257-page guide to highlight potentially derogatory slurs that users may encounter in books, websites, and archives.


The National Library of Scotland has created a 257-page guide to offensive phrases and wordsCredit: Andrew Barr – The Sun

The National Library of Scotland document, Inclusive Terminology, lists the terms “obsolete and harmful”.

Insults considered sectarian include “hun”, “proddy”, “drum basher”, “soap dodgers”, “Orange b***** d “and” Jungle Jims “.

This explains why terms like “zombies” and “manky mob” are offensive and even offer politically correct alternatives.

The authors of the manual said: “The meaning of language has changed over time, being largely dependent on historical and social context and subject to individual preferences. “

The document lists offensive terms related to race, sexuality, gender, disability, religion and beliefs as well as class.

It references the UK’s colonial past with dozens of examples of racist slurs.

Much of it focuses on Scotland, mentioning terms like ‘sawney’, an ancient derogatory term for Scots.

The guide is currently a first draft, but Edinburgh Library patrons hope to expand it in the future.

A spokesperson said: “We are constantly reviewing how we describe the collections in our catalogs so that people can find what they are looking for.

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“Discriminatory language hinders this process because most people don’t use that language to search our collections.

“Most of these terms aren’t in our catalog descriptions, but it’s important that everyone in the industry is aware of and tackles discriminatory language. “


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