What are 'ethnic people'?

I keep seeing these questions about ethnicity and speicfically guys seem to like asking about 'ethnic girls'.
But to me that just doesn't make any sense since the word 'ethnic' to me just describes a population which identifies with the same roots, social and cultural experiences (as in countries for instance) so each and every one is actually 'ethnic'.
So what do you mean when you talk about somebody being 'ethnic'?
What are the characteristics of somebody being 'ethnic'?

*I'm not a native speaker so I just know about this one definition of 'ethnicity' but it doesn't make any sense so can anyone please clear this mystery up for me?*


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Most Helpful Guy

What Guys Said 6

  • Nah, It dosen't make any sense, People seem to think ''Ethnic'' means the same as ''Latino'' or ''Asian'' and stuff, When it dosen't, I have no effing idea what they mean by it either xD,

    Ethnic means what type of people you decend from, I. e My ethnicity is Celtic/Saxon Whereas Caucasian is my race ;)

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    • that's exactly how I would define ethnic too lol some people are weird..

  • Only idiots use ethnic to refer to non white people in my opinion.

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    • lol actually I thought so too...

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    • so true, I think if they wanna use a word to describe people with different roots/ancestry they should rather use 'exotic' or smth at least similar in meaning but even then that should only apply to people who are actually foreigners in the country or to their appearance only

    • Yeah it's like the term "minority". One time I read the Sports Illustrated was catching flak for " exploiting minorities" when they had Chinese people in their shoots when shooting in China. Chinese people aren't a minority in China! That's when it solidified for me that minority is the new way of saying "non-white".

  • We all belong to an ethnic group, or several for that matter, true. So if I understand what you mean correctly, I agree no one should refer to others as ethnic while excluding themselves. You'll see people have all sorts of concepts in regards to race and ethnicity and often mix them up.

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  • In this context, 'ethnic' refers to people are not of White European ancestry.

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    • oh I see.. but europeans are ethnic, too tho..

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    • Yup, that's right.

    • well.. but isn't that kind of dumb tbh?

  • i think it means "not your ethnicity".

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    • ok lol but why is it so hard for some people to just say it that way?

    • because people don´t usually choose the longer expression? XD i´m not a native speaker too though.

  • i have no idea what you mean by that

    but i like dating foreign women so i guess that is similar

    but the only reason i date them is because they aren't feminist

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What Girls Said 5

  • It usually means non-white.

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  • In the West, 'ethnic' refers to anyone who isn't of White European descent. But, a white person could go to Nigeria, for example, and they'd be considered ethnic. So it's subjective.

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  • It's specifically referring to culture that's abit out there than white.

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  • people want to label themselves so as to appear more enticing

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  • People want to sound smart and PC by using the word 'ethnic' instead of 'exotic'

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