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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Redskin \Red"skin`\ (-sk?n`), n.

  1. A common appellation for a North American Indian; -- so called from the color of the skin. It is now considered pejorative by some persons of North American Indian heritage.

  2. (Football) A member of the Washington Redskins, a football team.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"American Indian," 1690s, from red (adj.1) + skin (n.). Red as the skin color of Native Americans is from 1580s; red man is from 1580s. Also see red cent.


n. (context now considered an ethnic slur and offensive English) An American Indian, a Native American.

Redskin (slang)

"Redskin" is a slang term referring to Native Americans in the United States. In modern dictionaries of American English it is labeled "usually offensive", "disparaging", "insulting", and " taboo".

The origin of the term is debated, in particular whether the use of "red" referred to skin color or the use of pigments by certain tribes, and also whether the term was applied to natives by Europeans or came from language natives used to refer to themselves. Professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz states that the settlers were paid bounties and they gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp hunts: redskins. Whatever its origins in the colonial period, many argue that "redskin" underwent a process of pejoration due to the increasingly disparaging use of the term through the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Although the term has almost disappeared from common use, it remains as the name of many sports teams, most prominently the Washington Redskins, and the term's meaning has been a significant point of controversy.

Redskin (subculture)

In the context of the skinhead subculture, a redskin is a socialist, communist, or anarchist skinhead. The term combines the word red, (a slang term for socialist or communist) with the word skin, which is short for skinhead. Redskins take a militant anti-fascist and pro- working class stance.

The most well-known organization associated with redskins is Red and Anarchist Skinheads (RASH). Other groups that have had redskin members include Anti-Fascist Action, Red Action and Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (although SHARP does not have an official leftist ideology). Bands associated with redskins include: The Redskins, Angelic Upstarts, Blaggers I.T.A., Kortatu, Skalariak, Banda Bassotti, The Burial, Negu Gorriak, Opció K-95, Los Fastidios, Kaos Urbano, Brigada Flores Magón, Nucleo Terco and The Press. One record label associated with the subculture is Insurgence Records.

Category:Skinhead Category:Social class subcultures Category:Anti-fascists

Redskin (film)

Redskin is a 1929 American film with a synchronized score and sound effects, filmed partially in Technicolor. Its final six minutes were shown in Magnascope , an enlarged-screen projection novelty. The film, directed by Victor Schertzinger, stars Richard Dix and was produced and released by Paramount Famous Lasky Corp.


Redskin can refer to:

  • Redskin (slang), a term referring to Native Americans
  • Redskin (subculture), a socialist or communist skinhead
  • Redskin (film), a 1929 film
  • Washington Redskins, a professional football team
  • Sheboygan Red Skins a defunct basketball team
  • The Redskins, a 1980s English left-wing soul/punk band
  • Redskins (confectionery), a red-coloured chewy candy bar manufactured by Nestlé
  • Flushing (physiology), the reddening of skin due to blood rushing to it

Usage examples of "redskin".

As the bitter wind continued to blow down the street, Riggs pulled up the collar of his overcoat, took a knit cap emblazoned with the Washington Redskins logo from his pocket, and pulled it tightly over his head so that only the lower part of his reddening face was visible.

Nor was this predecessor Cooper, whom Balzac admired and even imitated, altho Leatherstocking in tracking his redskin enemies revealed the tense observation and the faculty of deduction with which Poe was to endow his Dupin.

Them redskins set there shucking a good while, to fling a forty-acre shell pile over their shoulders.

The way he was hitting everything I even have this bruise on my knee, waving his arms around it was like Al watching the Redskins with his sixpack yelling send him in!

The general trusted his people at JSOC command, but when it came right down to it, he was in charge and should have been there, rather than in the sit room as if it were a skybox at a Redskins game.

It was the stillest silence they had ever known, broken once by a distant lapping, which Peter explained was the wild beasts drinking at the ford, and again by a rasping sound that might have been the branches of trees rubbing together, but he said it was the redskins sharpening their knives.

I had already made a large bet, at 8-1 odds, on Oakland to go all the way -- as opposed to a 4-1 bet on the Redskins and 2-1 against Minnesota.

We just may have discovered the first Spanish conquistador ever knocked off by local redskins.

So the real mystery would be where those other redskins have been hiding out all this time, whether they were in cahoots with that dead Ojibwa or not.

Sure the redskins is as toired as us, and gone home to the wives and childher, bad cess to thim.

He had tried out as a free-agent defensive back with the Browns, Bengals, Redskins, and Lions and finally put in his application at the Detroit Police Academy.

Later, one of the pallbearers told Ellen Cherry that Verlin had been watching a Washington Redskins exhibition game when he stood and clutched his chest.

And a lot of Washingtonians wore Redskins knit caps this time of year.

Lack of knowledge of the Pequots was my greatest problem, for little as I knew of Indians, I had learned from dealings with those I knew that there were great differences in them, and to speak of a redskin as being Indian was like speaking of a Frenchman or an Italian as a European.

He told us there was no fear of redskins here, yet, when the scream of a painter or the hoot of an owl stirred me from my exhausted slumber, I caught sight of him with his back to a tree, staring into the forest, his rifle at his side.