Is ‘Pikey’ offensive?

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Is the word ‘pikey’ offensive? Racist even?

I don’t know. Neither does the BBC.

But I can’t help but sympathise with the owner of News Plus on Colchester’s Barrack Street. I hateĀ thieves.

Mind you, ‘pikey’ is pretty tame stuff. Back in the 18th Century, when insults were insults and a spade certainly wasn’t a ‘user-operated manual digging solution’, the chief of a gang of Gypsies would be called:

A dimber damber upright man.

And I bet he revelled in it.

 

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