back to article Reg ed rattles the Red-Headed League

Our editor Joe Fay usually keeps a pretty low profile, but earlier this week he stuck his resolutely brunette bonce* above the parapet with this piece about a shouty Steve Jobs and MobileMe. One carrot top was prompted to protest: Joe, I am curious why you chose "like a red headed stepchild" as a description for Apples …


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  1. hplasm


    these mutants, eh?

  2. gotes

    as a "redhead"..

    Get over it, people

  3. georgeclooneylookalike
    Thumb Up

    Game on!

    Ginger Tosser!

  4. Gert Selkobi

    It's serious stuff.

    Look at the grief Neil Lennon's getting up in Scotland for being a ginger. Poor bugger's had it all his life, but he won't dye it, no sirreee.....

    1. Stratman


      Would that be a case of the fan hitting the shit?

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Playing with fire

      The poor sod's actually being targeted because he works for a company which shamelessly and blatantly milks the repulsive sectarianism of central Scotland for financial gain. As do Rangers, of course - without the excitement of prods vs tims both of the Old Firm would be on a par with Stenhousemuir or Raith Rovers.

      1. Stratman


        While a Northern Ireland player Lennon said in an interview that he wanted to play for a united Ireland football team. Considering the difficult political process at the time over here that wasn't very smart. While playing for Celtic against Rangers Lennon got sent off, as he left the pitch he turned to the crowd and shouted "Orange bastards!" He's also been recorded signing sectarian songs. I am not in any way condoning the behaviour of this fan or anything else that's happened to Lennon, but he is well aware of the volatility of the situation yet continues to goad 'the other side'.

  5. Candy

    Red haired racism?

    Since when has Ginger-baiting been on a par with racism?

    Is it now race, caste creed and hair colour which must be held apart from all comment?

    Formerly ginger, now grey. A silver surfer, part of the grey vote, etc, etc. Not offended by that, either. I'm also quite short. Should I be deeply offended by any reference to that, too?

    Although for those who are ginger and needy, it must be nice to have something to blame their social inadequacy on...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nevermind redheads

    Imagine being related to Steve Jobs.

    "Hey guys I hope you don't mind if I bum some more vital organs off you, it's been a madhouse at work recently"

    1. dotdavid
      Jobs Horns

      Just grow another liver...

      ...not that big of a deal.

    2. seanj

      Vital Organs...

      Taking a kidney. Not a big deal.


      Sent from my iPad

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    er... celts

    Celtic peoples are as likely to have bladk hair as red, and reed is not uniquely celtic. All this crap about racism is gettingm silly now.

    1. Nigel 11

      Completely non-racist technical comment

      The gene for red hair is more common amongst Celts than other peoples. It's recessive, masked if one also has the genes for black hair. It might have been unique to Celts, many millennia ago, but since then it's been spread around quite a bit.

      Flame bait for racists: outbreeding is better for one's children than inbreeding.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        if you dont believe it....

        just look at nick griffen

        (tho at least he's not ginger)

        A couple of Gs an R and an E, an I and an N,

        Just six little letters all jumbled together,

        Have caused damage that we may never mend.

        Only a ginger, can call another ginger Ginger.

        Only a ginger, can call another ginger Ginger.

        1. Ben Holmes
          Thumb Up

          Thumbs up...

          for Taboo...

        2. Elmer Phud
          Thumb Up

          Tim Minchin

          Seeing him perform this (on DVD) is wonderful.

          The parts of the audience who know the song are carefuly watching those who don't, almost wetting themselves in anticipation. Those who don't know the song who have come to see a 'right-on' performer look on in fury until the chorus.

          'Qualiteeee!' as some might say, 'pwnd' is another.

          "In our modern free-spoken society

          There is a word that we still hold taboo

          A word with a terrible history

          Of being used to abuse, oppress and subdue

          Just six seemingly harmless letters

          Arranged in a way that will form a word

          With more power than the pieces of metal

          That are forged to make swords"

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ginger bashing is not racist

    I'm both short and fat. People can call me short, fat or short and fat. It's an observation based on my physical appearance and people might choose to make such observations in an attempt to insult me or make humour. But I AM short and I AM fat. Being short or fat is not specific to a race of people and so is not covered by the UK racism laws. Do I give a shit? Hell no. Do you want me to wear a t-shirt with something like "Who ate all the pies?" on it? I couldn't care less.

    These ginger-tops need to get over it.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Ginger bashing is not racist

      Still not very nice though, is it? Just because you can do something or say something without censure doesn't mean you should. Personally I try to live by "If in doubt, don't be a cunt."

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Ginger bashing is not racist

        Having said that, massive oversensitivity is also a damaging thing and often insulting to people who really do face prejudice and abuse. Also, this is a snarky bit of Friday bollocks and we would all do well not to take it very seriously.

        Carry on.

        1. Francis Fish

          Yeah, yeah whatever

          Personally not a red head but my son is - the bullying was so bad he walks to school and won't get on the bus and of course the school did f-all. You say this isn't prejudice? If you say so.

          That's why I get irritated, I'm not hypersensitive - just don't like bullies or normalising bullying. Of course, with a name like Fish I used to get it all through school anyway. So maybe my hypersensitivity comes from disliking bullying and so on?

          I left school with a broken nose and 8 O levels in the 70's - again this mustn't count as abuse in your lexicon.

          That's why I don't like it - I don't like this kind of crap being thought of as acceptable because of where it can lead. I stand up to it now, even when it's uncomfortable.


          1. Anonymous Coward


            All kids get bullied to greater or lesser extents at school, unless they're the ones doing the bullying. If it wasn't your kid having red hair, it would be something else. Kid at my brother's school wore a yellow waterproof to school early on, and forevermore couldn't live it down, "Big Yellow Teapot" etc.

            But you stand up to bullying because, err, you were bullied. Else you wouldn't know how to deal with it. It's like building up resistance to colds by getting colds. Not sure what your point is really, you think if people didn't say anything about gingers your son wouldn't get bullied? Even though you were bullied for other reasons yourself? Or is it just that bullying is bad? And therefore saying someone is ginger mustn't be tolerated, because it must be bullying?

            1. Francis Fish


              He has been known to call himself Jaffro (ginger afro) - he's now over six foot tall and hasn't been bothered in a while ;) He just looks down from on high and they shut up.

              I just want people to think a bit harder about throw away comments and about how they would feel if it became a big deal that they had blue eyes or whatever - it's what's inside that counts. The odd comment is part of life and I wouldn't care one way or the other, it's the consistent bullying that I have trouble with.

              And the original context was "ginger step-child" - which I think is *really* nasty. As in ginger is synonymous with unloved - not funny.

              I had a row on linked in with some tosser who bullied someone out of a place I used to work a few months ago - as in "wtf would I link to you"? That was fun. He didn't understand why I wouldn't link to him - weird.

              1. Anonymous Coward


                Fair play, I misunderstood where you're coming from it seems. I'm not too comfortable with the implications of "ginger step-child" to be honest, though I wouldn't blink an eye at someone i don't know saying it if I had red hair. I'd just think them either an idiot, or funny, depending on context. I guess context is important ...

          2. Anonymous Coward

            You're part of the problem, Mr Fish

            By 'standing up' to some kids teasing another kid, what you are actually doing is singling out your kid for more teasing. You should instead teach him to tease back.

            Almost everyone has physical defects of some kind or other. Here is a list for your kid to use. Repeat after me, "I may be $X, but at least I'm not $Y".

            Acceptable values for $X and $Y:

            a fat bastard

            an ugly bastard

            a short bastard

            a tall bastard

            a smelly bastard

            a satellite ears bastard

            The entire purpose of schooling is to allow children to get used to unreasonable behaviour and still cope. Waving your hands in the air and screaming "waah, its so unfair" isn't smart.

          3. jwb

            RE: Yeah, yeah whatever

            Lighten up, Francis.

        2. Alex Wells


          I love you. (unless you're gin... actually lets just not even joke eh?)

          In all seriousness, it's Friday of the longest week in the universe, can we please discuss where the line ends and we start being offensive? Particularly since my office hasn't (yet) come round to the idea of going to the pub on a Friday. I'm all ears.

        3. Jim 59


          It's unfortunate that those who define what is racist also define a list of alternative groups who may be abused with impunity. Groups on the list are either selected arbitarily, or contain people they don't like. The more "abusable" groups you are a member of, the more annnoying it is. Unfortunately, Welsh and redheads both fall into this category. Personally I think you should be nice to everyone.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You have something against cunts?

        Why would you not want to be a cunt? Do you have a particular bias against them? Should all women be ashamed that they have them? Just asking.

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        You might be interested to read up on the etymology of the word 'cunt', it's orignal meaning being roughly akin to 'strong willed woman', and being a term of respect, not of abuse. Of course, like many words, its meaning has drifted somewhat over the years, and by the 18th century, it had taken on quite a different meaning.

        There was quite a good programme (I think on BBC2) a few years ago about the interesting etymology of some common words, this was one of them, so I'm afraid I can't quote you any primary sources for this...

        1. deadlockvictim


          I'm open to correction on this (preferably by someone who has studied Old- & Middle English).

          The word 'cunt' means exactly that, namely women's sexual organs. It is one of the few words that has changed very little, if not at all, since time immemorial.

          Testimonies to this are various 'Gropecunt lanes' that one finds in the mediaeval quarters of places like Oxford and London.

          Matthew Hunt has a piece here [1] on the origins of the word and it looks convincing. Of course, it is as reliable as the Web.


        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          There was a road in London, frequented by ladies of negotiable affection, which went by the name of 'Gropecunt Lane'. Sadly it was renamed - I'd love to have been able to ask a taxi driver to take me there.

  9. lIsRT

    disappointing week

    A good FoTW should include more spelling mistakes than that, I only spotted "naritives" and "carfully" - any others I missed?

  10. MonkeyBot

    They're not "redheads"

    They're ginger. A redhead is a ginger woman that you want to shag.

    When she turns you down or gets ugly, she becomes a ginger again.

    1. James Hughes 1


      First comment of today that made me laugh out loud. Well done sir.

  11. Tom 38
    Black Helicopters

    Blame CBS

    CBS airs "The Mentalist - 3x21 - Like A Redheaded Stepchild" on 5/5/2011

    Joe puts ginger baiting sub title on piece 9/5/2011

    No such thing as coincidence!

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    Collective noun for redheads?

    That'll be "target".......

  13. Winkypop Silver badge

    I married a carrot top

    Vive la différence

    1. hplasm

      So she has

      green leafy hair?

      1. Peter Storm
        Thumb Up



  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uncalled for comparison

    >I would rather be dead then red on the head like a dick on a Dog" everybody laughed and as much as I tried to save him he was fired...

    No doubt the person responsible for the firing was a dog lover.

    And may I offer my heartfelt sympathy to Ms Bee who no doubt will have a job on due to all the twonks who think they have an excuse to repeat the N word

    1. Greg J Preece

      My heartfelt sympathy to you

      And all people who are still so weak they have to refer to it as "the N word."

      And my greatest thanks to Ms Bee. Not for the sense, but for reminding me that it's Friday!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I like my posts to get through so if I have to use "N word" so that I can publicly thank our moderators (not only Sarah) for the task they do then I will and won't consider myself any weaker for so doing.

        I've sometimes over stepped the mark and on the whole the team has been right not to publish some of my comments, but what the hell, sometimes you've got to try. This wasn't one of those sometimes.

  15. Jelliphiish

    tim minchin

    only a ginger.... nuff said

  16. Stefing

    I'm not racist, but...

    Why are most red-headed women utter babes (hello Karen Gillan!) when most red-headed men are downright painful to the eye (goodbye please Mick Hucknall)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Because you're a heterosexual male, presumably?

      1. Gareth Gouldstone

        As a gay man ...

        I've often found ginger men attractive. I like big noses and sticky-out ears too.

    2. Lamont Cranston

      Red hair accompanies pale skin,

      which implies weakness, thus easily overpowered.

      In women, this would make them easy to impregnate, in a man, this would make them unlikely to impregnate anything.

      Having typed that, it's clearly a load of bollocks - I'll bet Mick Hucknall has had plenty of opportunities to impregnate things (*shudder*) - which must mean that evolution is a load of rubbish, and the fundamentalists were right all along.

    3. Thomas 4

      As a red head myself

      You should be thanking my species, after all, those red-haired hotties have to come from *somewhere* =p

      1. Elmer Phud

        Coming out

        The red-headed one in what was 'Girls Aloud' eventually came out as a ginge and looked so much better than before when she was trying to hide it. Once the fake tan had come off she resembled a human being instead of a music industry construct.

  17. Pavlov's obedient mutt

    the difference..(possibly, perhaps, maybe)

    is that it's inappropriate to make fun of something someone was born with (short, red, gay, black) vs something someone has control over (fat, smelly, lazy)

    And, of course, where humour and good natured ragging inadvertently supports real bigotry.

    There is institutionalised discrimination against gay people, black people (and white people) and real physical harm is dealt to these groups

    I've yet to hear or read of some religious nut-job calling for the death of red-heads.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "something someone has control over"

      Well you can't change your skin colour or your sexuality, but you can always cut or dye your hair.

  18. Dave 126 Silver badge


    There are many scientists who spend a lot of time into looking into human sexuality and desirability... It seems that pale skin has always been preferred in women (think Helen of Troy with skin like milk, or an alabaster complexion), whilst a darker or ruddier complexion is considered more desirable on a man.

    A red-headed woman is more likely to have pale skin (sexy) but so is a red-headed man (less sexy).

    Personally, I was carrot-topped as a nipper, but it's darkened to auburn now- leaving me ostracised from the cool ginger circle of my non-celtic home-town.

    I wasn't offended by the step-child simile, but using it twice in one week just seemed a little.... unimaginative.


  19. David Barr
    Thumb Up

    Ginger Bashing... last resort

    I've felt ginger bashing has become the last resort for people who want to bond with others by shunning others, where they would previously bash races or religions all that's left for them to bash is gingers. It wasn't always this way, but when I see it done now on TV and in person it seems to have a rather nasty tone to it. I don't think it's the most serious problem society faces, but I'm quite happy to be "PC" about it.

    1. Marvin the Martian

      Ginger Bashing Resort

      This sounds like a good alternative to Center Parks and Club Med.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    most English are part-Celt anyway

    sounds like Francis has some kind of inferiority complex brought on by being ginger and Scottish/Welsh

  21. Bilgepipe

    Not Racist

    It's *not* racist.

    Time they started giving dictionaries away to primary schoolchildren instead of bibles.

  22. Anonymous Coward


  23. dogged
    Thumb Up

    Collective noun

    "an embarrassment".

  24. AshC

    Why do I bother?

    I hate all of you blue eyed bastards anyway.

  25. Dr. Mouse


    "Ginger kids are born with a disease which causes very light skin, red hair, and freckles... This disease is called Gingervitus, and it occurs because ginger kids have no souls."

    (South Park, great episode :D )

    I also remember when one of my girlfriends mates dyed her hair ginger... my girlfriends response: "Why would you dye your hair ginger? It's like purposely making yourself ugly!"

    Seriously, though, everyone takes the mick out of everyone else (at least here in the UK). It is banter. If you are offended, it shows more about your own insecurities than the oppinions of others.

  26. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    I have one, wouldn't trade her for anything, ever!

    My great-grand-parents were all from Glasgow and they all had bright red hair, it went belly up from then on in my family line, everyone was a brunette. That was until my little girl turned up and decided, while in the womb, to find the most bizarre throw-back genes she could from my contribution and came up with the brightest ginger red-top she could muster! No one else in the family, that's 15 people since my the great grannies has anything like it.

    My little girl loves the name "ginger-whinger" when she goes into one, which my wife absolutely hates, often seriously rebuking me and my little red-top treasure for using it! No doubt that will change in the playground later on, to the more common insult of inverting the W for an M.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have one, wouldn't trade her for anything, ever!

      "My great-grand-parents were all from Glasgow and they all had bright red hair, it went belly up from then on in my family line"

      And what colour down below?

  27. uncle sjohie

    Red headed Women?

    To quote from the song "red headed Women" by Bruce Springsteen:

    Well brunettes are fine man

    And blondes are fun

    But when it comes to getting a dirty job done

    I'll take a red headed woman

    A red headed woman

    It takes a red headed woman

    To get a dirty job done

    Well listen up stud

    Your life's been wasted

    Til you've got down on your knees and tasted

    A red headed woman

    A red headed woman

    It takes a red headed woman

    To get a dirty job done

    Tight skirt, strawberry hair

    Tell me what you've got, baby, waiting under there

    Big green eyes that look like, son

    They can see every cheap thing that you ever done

    Well I don't know how many girls you've dated, man

    But you ain't lived til you've had your tires rotated

    By a red headed woman

    A red headed woman

    It takes a red headed woman

    To get a dirty job done


    And he can say that. because he has been married to a red headed woman for a long time.

  28. Matthew Hale

    re: Ginger Bashing is not racist... what? If it's not racism it's OK?! Big ears, facial deformity etc etc....all OK to make someone feel small and embarrassed, just so long as it's not about the colour of their skin or what part of the world they come from? You muppet.

    I'd rather be criticised for my race....

    Basically some people just like making people who are in a minority or who stand out in some way feel bad. Basically they are just morons who are seeking the attention of others. I just love the way without fail, they all say `but it's not racialistical so it's ok to just `bash` em init bruv....` Clowns...

  29. Richard IV

    Let me see

    Red headed stepchild is bad because of the unwantedness of red heads. No one leaping to the defence of stepchildren then?

    This post was made from orphans' tears and middle-aged men's broken dreams.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Narrow escape

    It could have been worse - he could have called a horse a "Frenchman's lunch"....

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Red heads...

    ....are just as valid as targets for ridicule and humiliation as blacks and gays, or any other minority group, in my opinion. I just don't see what the fuss is about. Get over it.

  32. HiGene

    Hmm missing the point tards

    The point is if you're born a certain way and people use it as a verbal weapon, it's out of order. As mentioned already, you can't take the piss out of other races or handicaps so why hair colour? Funny, ha ha, yeh great, mature too. Try it near me and you'll be nursing a broken nose, see who looks like a fucking mutant then, eh?

    1. HiGene

      Aw thumbs down

      Diddums. You like being able to take the mickey out of people and would hate the suggestion it's inappropriate, I guess. Guess you'll have to try and win the respect and admiration of your peers through reasoned argument and intelligent discussion. It's too easy to be a dick, try and be constructive.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Well done HiGene

        In trying to talk people down for calling you a ginger, you in turn called them 'tards.

        Spot the irony?

        1. HiGene


          Ha yeh I had noticed that (all too late) but hoped nobody else would. Many a word spoken in anger... My point still stands that after 30+ years of shitheads (safe?) cracking wise I don't take any nonsense anymore. One of the most annoying trends is when people are having some sort of a ginger laugh, notice (or are made to notice) my ire then go all quiet and sheepish as they damn well know they're in the wrong. Then I read a page full of rubbish where everyone thinks it's OK so that's OK then, kinda rubs me the wrong way.

          1. jwb

            RE: D'oh

            Well, HiGene, at least you're putting to rest that stereotype about redheads being fiery and hot-tempered.

  33. disgruntled yank

    Call Sherlock Holmes!

    It's the only thing to do when the League of Red Headed Men comes calling.

    There are or were a hell of a lot of "blonde jokes" going around the US 20 or 25 years ago, but I don't know that redheads ever came in for that treatment here.

    1. HiGene

      The blinkered UK?

      Maybe I'm just strange, I can't help but feel uncomfortable even with the phrase 'blonde moment' as it carries similar undertones. Your Sherlock Holmes quip was amusing, though, proof that physical features can be used as a joke without being hurtful. I'm only not laughing as some of the small minded comments on here have got me steaming mad. It seems that only in the UK is it seen as normal and right that people are made to feel small and inferior 'coz it's OK, everyone does it'. I seem to recall that once upon a time everyone used to have those funny dark fellas as slaves, that was quite alright, everyone did it. OK, poor analogy maybe but you probably get my point about the pathetic cowardice of the herd.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Can I ask if you're a red head, or are you just being outraged in sympathy along with all the other daily mail readers?

        From my experience in the UK (40+ years since birth), everyone takes the piss out of everyone else, including themselves. Self deprecation is a national trait, and an essential prerequisite before taking the mickey out of anyone else.

      2. hplasm

        So feeling uncomfortable

        makes you want to punch people in the face?


        1. HiGene


          AC - yes, a red head. No, despise DM readers also (inc the in-laws, barmy as a bag full of hedgehogs and believe everything that rag tells them). Ordinarily I love my country and its people, this page of insults has driven me up the wall. I was hoping for some voices of reason but it appears the majority of people think it's fine to insult those different from them. I don't call fat people fat, smelly people smelly or black people black. I think it's best to be civil to everyone otherwise everyone loses. That said...

          hplasm - yes, I'm a pretty passionate person when my back gets up and you insult me at your peril, especially after a few. Not proud of this, must be a red head thing (see, fairly self deprecating, not insulting, not calling myself ugly or weird or mutated, spot the difference?). Please note that being uncomfortable is what I feel about the blonde phrases, ginger things making me absofrigginglutely mental. What worries me most is the people who aren't as naturally aggressive as me, the sensitive types who get actually mentally damaged by this type of attitude. Is that OK? It's just the playground? It's pathetic, is what it is.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @disgruntled yank

      "There are or were a hell of a lot of "blonde jokes" going around the US 20 or 25 years ago, "

      Didn't most of them get their own series?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Red-headed wimmin'

    I've always had a soft spot for the Red headed female and as such have been with quite a few. The vast majority were more passionate, daring and if I had a choice between twins - 1 blonde and 1 redhead I know which I would choose!

    Paris?: She's a secret ginner!

  35. Steve Button Silver badge

    I'm coming out.

    Yes, I'm a Red Head. I have not told anyone and I'm 41 years old and I have decided it's time to "come out". There, I said it.

    To be honest, I think a lot of people have guessed already anyway.

    Also, I get really fed up with people feeling it's OK to take the piss out of me about it for the last 30 odd years. It's not the same as calling someone a nigger, considering all the background that comes along with that. It's also worse than calling someone "fatty", because at least a fat person can normally do something about it. Still not nice to point it out though.

    Basically it's similar to taking the piss out of someone because they are tall, have a lisp, have epilepsy, hairy legs, freckles or a big nose. It's perfectly natural to pick people out because of their differences... if you have the imagination of a caveman, that is.

    It's not big, it's not clever and it's really not original. So, please stop it.

    1. HiGene

      Thumb down for poor Steve? What did he do to you?

      Wow, there was absolutely nothing in this post to disagree with. A calm, reasoned request to stop the abuse and it gets a down-vote. I guess there goes a demonstration of the kind of self-centred, hateful troglodyte with which we unfortunately have to share this planet. I can only hope (for the sake of his doubtless beautiful and as-yet-unbroken nose) that it's simply the abstraction of the internet that gives you the chutzpah to assert such a crass point of view and that you don't actually up in people's faces telling them to stop complaining when they ask someone to stop being unkind to them.

    2. Steve Evans

      Re: Steve Button

      But where do you want to draw the line? I might not be ginger, but I've gone through my life being a tall lanky streak of piss four eyed computer geek.

      1. Geoffrey W

        @But where do you want to draw the line?

        How 'bout not being nasty to anyone for anything unless they really deserve it? Anyone who is nasty to someone for no reason, just because its fun? They're just dicks and deserve the nasty. That stupid male macho mockery so beloved of lads everywhere just masks some inner insecurity and they need to grow up.

        1. Dr. Mouse

          Know your audience

          "How 'bout not being nasty to anyone for anything unless they really deserve it?"

          What about "know your audience" combined with "don't be so easily offended"?

          I am a polite person, and I rarely upset anyone. I do, however, take the piss out of friends and aquaintances when I think they can take it.

          I have, on occasion, got it wrong and offended someone. Often this is because I didn't realise something was a touchy subject for the person involved. Mostly, they laugh it off, realising there was no malice in what I said, and then let me know later (at which point I feel very guilty and appologise profusely). I have also been on the other end, and try to do the same.

          When someone is doing it out of malice, it is a completely different story. Fortunately I have found that this rarely happens (except at school, of course). My response is still the same however: treat it as a joke if you can, no matter how hurtful, or ignore it if you can't laugh it off.

          I am not a strong person, and know how hurtfull things can be. But friends will avoid touchy subjects when taking the piss, and why do you care about the others?

  36. disgruntled yank


    The odd thing is that some of the earliest alpha males of European literature, Achilles and Menelaus, for example, are described as having ginger hair: Menelaus is called "xanthos Menelaos" when it suits the meter, and very early in the Iliad Athena grabs Achilles by his "xanthes komes". And the lexicographers seem to agree that "xanthos" is a reddish blond or auburn in this case.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My ginger friend

    My ginger friend is over the moon... After taking years of abuse, and introducing himself as the ginger tosser, he's now reached 40, and going grey - He's so happy!

    Now he just needs to find some factor 2000 sunblock and he'll be able to hang out with the rest of us!

    Anon, cos, well, I'm not quite ready to admit I have a ginger friend. It's a big step you know.

  38. Big_Boomer

    Don't offend me

    I'm a Black Irish Lesbian Communist Vegetarian Redhead Accountant and I take offense to almost everything. ;-) <NOT!>

    Jeez people, get over yourselves.

    I'm fat and when people point at me and say "You're fat" then I just smile and agree.

    It's a fact.

    If people have a prejudice against fat people (and they do) then should I take offense whenever someone makes a comment about us fatties?

    I can't be bothered and I know something that they don't.

    They are all F**KWITS! :D

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A curious variety of comments...

    There has been some mention of context already, however the majority of posters seem content to gloss over it, in favour of sensationalism, "wit", or whatnot. Suffice to say, "ginger" etc remarks can be completely acceptable (yes funny even!) in some situations, entirely unacceptable in others, as with any other potentially malicious remarks...

    For those who haven't already done so, I'd suggest watching the excellent Gran Torino by Clint Eastwood. It has nothing to do with red/ginger hair, but it deftly illustrates the huge difference context and familiarity can make when slinging around language that is potentially vicious in nature. In the end it comes down to two things - your intent, but more importantly, what the likely perception of your intent will be. If you think you remark is likely to be taken with the good humour it was intended to be, then tally-ho! If not, then think twice (unless of course you want to be deliberately malicious).

    Now I'm off for a pint! :-)

    1. HiGene

      Good points, all

      I would have liked to have put it as succinctly and level headed as you but failed. However, very well put, sir. Particularly the last bit.

    2. HiGene
      Thumb Up

      I should add...

      Awesome film, absolutely awesome

  40. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Heard this one on a Steven Segal movie

    "Fire down below" I think.



    But probably not something you want to say out loud.

    Remember folks "Ginger" is a spectrum.

    From hot ginger (Rachel Nicholls and Alicia Dewitt) to mad ginger (Lindsay Lohan?).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: "Ginger" is a spectrum

      But it's not, is it? It's a sort of beige off-blonde colour, nothing like copper or auburn or the other colours that idiots seem to think is "ginger". Are they thinking about ginger biscuits, which are as much biscuit coloured as ginger coloured? I can't help thinking the whole anti-ginger thing came about as a misunderstanding of the Cockney "ginger beer", and deserves to be treated with as much contempt as that prejudice.

  41. Displacement Activity

    Red, proud of it

    We live in a world where 95% of the population have black hair, and most of them have brown eyes. Who "wouldn't* want red hair and blue eyes? I don't remember ever being teased at school (in England). My ancestors pillaged Europe and Russia ("Red") and crossed the ocean in longboats; it's not exactly the stuff of teasing. I lived in a lot of different countries as a kid in the 60s and 70s. African kids never said anything, and didn't seem to notice; Korean ones using to follow us around, pointing. Great.

    Don't know about the word "ginger", though. This smacks of sectarianism from our Northern neighbours.

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