Friday, February 29, 2008


Adjective (or plural noun 'allochtonen') meaning "Muslim" Also: "foreign, inferior, criminal."

The word is fabricated from Greek ἀλλος (other) and χθον (ground), and was designed to sound polite, correct and scientific.

Pronunciation: allah-(quickly clear throat as if about to spit)-TOEN; plural allahg-TOE-nin.

See Also: Dutch Royal House

(Princess Maxima)

The Greeks never used this word. Athenians called immigrants 'metics' and granted them rights. Foreigners were βαρβαροi, that is, like Conan. Or ξενοι, which had a positive connotation. Xenophobic is essentially a pejorative.


Anonymous said...

According to Van Dale, "allochtoon" means immigrant or foreigner. Some Dutch politicians (Wilders, Verdonk to name a couple) have further defined it as "anyone not born in NL or whose parents were not born in the Netherlands".

The word has IMHO become code for "Muslim" in common Dutch usage. A usage I like to challenge by saying "I am an allochtoon" and watching the person using the term try to rephrase their sentence without using the term "Muslim" or referring to specific nationalities, religion or skin color.


Toby Sterling said...


You are absolutely, positively right. The correct translation for my Devil's Dictionary is "Muslim"

I'm correcting it right now.