Trigger Warning: This article contains language which may offend minorities. 

Cobble together—in your head, please, particularly if there are children around—a list of the most offensive words and phrases you can think of. Chances are, it’s full of the usual suspects: Fuck, shit, bitch, cunt, etc. But here’s the thing: your list is missing quite a few offensive words. And we’re sorry to report that it’s a good bet you use a lot of them a lot of the time. 

On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, let’s end the use of several words and phrases that promote anti-Semitism, such as:

“Getting baked”: Stoner slang for smoking pot. It should be obvious why this is NOT ok, but for those who skipped history class, the Nazis killed 6 million Jewish prisoners, and burned their remains. Grow up, it’s not 1998, we just call it smoking now. See also: “Half-baked” and “Wake and bake” 

“Ashy elbows”: A description of African Americans’ elbows, when they become dry and take on a grayish appearance. This term is not only offensive to those of dark complexion, but it can be used as a reference to Holocaust victims who were cremated in giant ovens in Nazi concentration camps, and reduced to nothing more than ashes. Using “ashy” to describe anything is basically making light of the Holocaust, and makes you sound like a privileged white bigot.

“Nosy”: A term which originated as a reference to Jews having large noses and being overly interested in the goings on of their communities. White Europeans distrusted Jews, and viewed any attempt at Jewish integration as malicious. You might as well buy a MAGA hat and aggressively smile at people of color if you use this term.

Parentheses or “((( )))”: White Nationalists have been putting parentheses around the names of Jews as a cruel joke. Personally, I avoid using parentheses at all now that I’m aware of this, as even one set reminds people of the racist adaptation. Use [ ] instead. It’s not offensive, and going against traditional grammar rules made up by dead white men is in vogue.

In addition to these phrases, it’s time we end the ridiculous practice of celebrating 4/20, which just so happens to be Adolph Hitler’s birthday. Do your part to end anti-Semitism, beginning with changing your own behavior and becoming a better, more tolerant you. 


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