Redundancy Alert

October 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm (Icepick)

It occurred to me a while back that the term WASP – White Anglo-Saxon Protestant – contains a redundancy. For how many non-white Anglo-Saxons exist? So the acronym should be ASP, for Anglo-Saxon Protestant.


  1. mockturtle said,

    Makes sense. Not sure which I’d rather be—a WASP or an ASP. Both can hurt you but I guess an ASP is more lethal. ;-)

  2. wj said,

    But I suspect that, rather than being that kind of unique identifier, it was originally a cascade:
    — Race: white
    — Ethinc group (sub-group of race): Anglo-Saxon
    — Religion (subgroup of ethinc group, even though members of other groups do belong to this religion also): Protestant

    As for your question, as interracial marriages have increased, there are likely an increasing number of individuals who are visibly of a non-white race, but a majority of whose ancestory is Anglo-Saxon. For example, with three Anglo grandparents, and one East Asian one, you are likely to end up with an epicanthic fold and a slight permanent tan. Which means that, at first glance, you are non-white — even though most of your ancestry is Anglo-Saxon. (And, if you live in the US, which is likely for such a mix, your culture is probably pretty Anglo-Saxon as well.)

  3. karen said,

    I was listening to Npr this a.m. and caught something in passing– about a Norwegian bio-racial that… the newscaster said wasn’t considered a halfbreed, but… & i thought- wtf- that’s animalspeak, u know? How can that get a pass?

    Maybe i heard wrongly.

  4. karen said,

  5. Iolanthe said,

    Actually, the term “WASP” is doubly inaccurate, if you define Anglo-Saxons as the Germanic language speakers who arrived in Britain in the Middle Ages. In the year 450 there were no Protestants, nor would there be anything resembling Protestants for about a thousand years.

  6. Icepick said,

    Hmm, I think the term can still be construed as accurate. These are the Anglo-Saxons who later became Protestants. Now the question is how many Anglo-Saxons did NOT become Protestants.

  7. karen said,

    … do they screw in light bulbs, too?

    Had to ask:0)

  8. karen said,

    Religiously contented:0)
    (as in…content, but it means the above) =

  9. karen said,

    Kngfish… where’s the update promised???????
    Miss hearing the voices from this blog–
    as opposed 2the ones in my head:0)

  10. wj said,

    I quite like the voices in my head. But I must say they don’t offer the breadth of perspectives the voices here do (when they can be heard)….

  11. mockturtle said,

    Yes, I miss the voices here, too. I talk to my dog pretty much all day long. He doesn’t seem to mind being the recipient of my limited perspective but he consistently fails to adequately address the concerns and issues of the day–at least to my satisfaction. OTOH, he’s a hell of a great companion. :-)

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