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  #1  
Old December 27, 2011, 12:13 PM
pacomartin123 pacomartin123 is offline
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Culturally offensive

This may be vocabulary question

The Spanish phrase merienda de negros is similar to the British phrase the dog's breakfast in that it means a confusing mixture of items.

Does the phrase carry any negative cultural stereotypes? In the USA for people under the age of 50, the word negro is often treated as perjorative, while to older people negro was the acceptable choice for colored.

Maybe the word in Spanish isn't even associated with people. Perhaps it is associated with dogs.

Is it considered an old-fashioned phrase, or would people under the age of 25 use it?

The phrase juntar meriendas is said to mean to join forces in English. The word meriendas has to mean something more complex than snacks which is the most common translation. "Joining snack foods" doesn't even make sense in English.
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Old December 27, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Merienda/cena de negros is of course an offensive expression, as it alludes to African tribal clichés of cannibalism.

"Merienda" is not necessarily a snack, but a dinner.
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Old December 27, 2011, 01:13 PM
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I don't quite understand where you're going with this.

The Spanish phrase, even though it contains the word 'negros', would not have the English word 'negroes' in it, when translated. "A dog's breakfast" doesn't sound pejorative.

The English word 'negro' is currently marked as an 'offensive' word in dictionaries, but it wasn't always so (as you stated). This still has nothing to do with the translated phrase "a dog's breakfast," which, I suppose, is what you're asking about when you said, "Is it considered an old-fashioned phrase ... ?"

I have never heard the 'breakfast' phrase used in AmE, which makes sense since it's a BrE idiom. In the U.S., we would say a hodgepodge, a jumble or a mess. As an adjective, a mess could be described as willy-nilly.
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Old December 27, 2011, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
The English word 'negro' is currently marked as an 'offensive' word in dictionaries, but it wasn't always so (as you stated). This still has nothing to do with the translated phrase "a dog's breakfast," which, I suppose, is what you're asking about when you said, "Is it considered an old-fashioned phrase ... ?
The US census bureau restored the word "negro" to the census form in 2010, because it turned out that some older people find the term "black" to be offensive, and "African-American" to be artificial. They had a lot of complaints.

I wouldn't use the term "dog's breakfast" because most speakers of AmE wouldn't know what it meant.


Older people in the USA still say "Oriental" instead of "East Asian". They feel the word is descriptive, and not offensive. Personally, I am of the age that I think of the term "oriental" as old fashioned, more than offensive.

I just wanted to know if the phrase, which is defined in the DRAE as colloquial is considered offensive, old fashioned or if it is still widely used by younger people.
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
Merienda/cena de negros is of course an offensive expression, as it alludes to African tribal clichés of cannibalism.

"Merienda" is not necessarily a snack, but a dinner.
According with this link, it would be related to black slaves gatherings in which they ate, talked, sang...
http://www.muyinteresante.es/ipor-qu...enda-de-negros

I think "merienda" can be different in different places. In my city it is something children or kids used to eat about 18.00. It can be a glass of milk with cocoa powder and a sandwich. In the city I live now, " merienda" is the food the kids take and have for breakfast in the school.

Coming back to "merienda de negros", here, some people would consider it offensive, others would consider stupid that some people consider it offensive.

I don't think is old fashioned, but I'm not so young.

About the word "negro", once we asked a black African guy if he thought the word "negro" was offensive. He said no. Politicians, journalists... probably wouldn't use that word, but most of the people do it. I know the situation is different in the States, but their history is different too.
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:24 PM
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El link es, efectivamente, muy interesante, pero nunca he escuchado la expresión usada sólo para referirse a confusión y desorden. Siempre ha sido para referirse a un convite nada amigable, en el que a alguien se comen vivo. Puede ser un uso regional, pero definitivamente tiene una connotación ofensiva.
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Old December 28, 2011, 01:35 PM
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What Angélica writes is also true among Latinos for the Caribbean islands.
The word negro can be offensive when referring to people especially in
phrases like merienda de negros. On Caribbean shores, when referring to people with Sub-Saharan ancestry the most common term is moreno if skin is dark and trigueño if skin is lighter.

Cubans sometimes use the term negrito/a as a term of endearment.
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Last edited by poli; December 28, 2011 at 08:11 PM.
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Old January 06, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Luis Suarez who plays for Liverpool Football Club called Manchester United's Patrice Evra "Negrito". He has been fined £40,000 (small change for a Premier League footballer!), but more severely - banned for eight games, hurting himself and his club.
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Old January 07, 2012, 11:25 PM
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Estos comprendo con dificultades, pero creo que la frase es similiar de unos frases tienemos en el sur de los Estados Unidos. Por ejemplo, "Cougar" o, de menos frecuencía, "Mushroom". No sé...
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Old January 14, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessik View Post
Estos comprendo con dificultades, pero creo que la frase es similiar de unos frases tienemos en el sur de los Estados Unidos. Por ejemplo, "Cougar" o, de menos frecuencía, "Mushroom". No sé...
En el sur de los Estados Unidos las palabras «Cougar» o «Mushroom» no implican el racismo. «Mushroom» no es ofensivo a ningún grupo, y «Cougar» que significa una mujer tiene el edad de 40 años o mas, y esta mujer está guapo. Pero, si usted dice la palabra «negro», en público, en los EEUU, especialamente en el sur, que es mejor estar hablando español, y debe esperar que no le estadounidense negro ha oído, por que él podría enojarse.
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