Why Italian-Americans were referred as guineas?

What does "guineas" mean?

I heard the slang in the movie Departed.

4 Answers

  • Ginney/Guinea Italians Pronounced "gi-nee." Came from "Guinea Negro" (West African) and originally referred to any Black or any person of mixed ancestry. This dates back to the 1740's. By the 1890s it was being applied to Italians--almost certainly because they tend to have darker skin than Anglo-Saxons/Germans. By 1911 the term began being applied to Hispanics, although the reference to Italians is the most common.

    Deviations of the word can still be found. Like eating Italian food and referring to the pasta sauce as "Ginzo Gravy". It's looked upon in a bad light in the U.S., and anyone who refers to an Italian as a Guinea, is racist. If any Italian-American refers to themselves as a Guinea, they're not educated and have no idea where the word came from, or what it really means.

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    Guinea is a region in West Africa.The word was originally used for African-Americans but it changed to Italo-Americans due to the relatively dark skin of those coming from the southern area of Italy. It is considered highly offensive by IA.

  • Ginzo Gravy

  • Its a racial slur.

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