Gransnet forums


causing offense?

(229 Posts)
Fennel Fri 04-Oct-19 12:00:16

I was in the lift going up to Tesco yesterday, with a Gran and her grandson in a push chair.
The little boy had beautiful auburn hair so I said "He's a real gingernut!" At first I thought the Gran didn't look too pleased, so I said "My hair used to be that colour". After a pause, she said "So was mine".
Do some people take offense at being called Ginger? I got called many teasing names.

Calendargirl Fri 04-Oct-19 12:03:35

Perhaps could have said what you originally thought, what beautiful auburn hair he has. Just sounds more complimentary than ginger nut maybe.

SueDonim Fri 04-Oct-19 12:16:32

I'm a redhead and yes, I'd find 'gingernut' to be offensive. I was called that often as a child and it was never meant as a compliment.

Grammaretto Fri 04-Oct-19 12:35:17

2 of our DGC are gingers. So far they have only had compliments.
I think any comments to strange children are out of bounds these days I'm afraid.

paddyann Fri 04-Oct-19 12:45:09

Ginger isn't seen as a compliment,too many children get bullied using ginger as an insult .You could have just said isn't his hair a beautiful colour,nothing to worry about there

Auntieflo Fri 04-Oct-19 12:48:34

Our GS has beautiful auburn/ chestnut hair. The only person allowed to call him 'Ginge', was a much loved teacher at his school.

ElaineI Fri 04-Oct-19 13:21:02

I think gingernut sounds rude and even when I was at school bullies shouted it at redheads. I would have said "what a lovely colour of hair".

KatyK Fri 04-Oct-19 13:48:47

Yes I think people today would take offence at 'gingernut.'

ninathenana Fri 04-Oct-19 13:52:38

I wouldn't be happy if you'd called my GC "ginger nut" commenting that he had beautiful auburn hair would make me smile.
I love auburn hair, so did my mum.

grapefruitpip Fri 04-Oct-19 14:01:45

It's offensive. I would never say it. You have to be careful commenting on the appearance of strangers.

Boosgran Fri 04-Oct-19 14:03:23

Yes, I think most people would find that offensive.

bluebirdwsm Fri 04-Oct-19 14:44:35

You could have said you liked his auburn hair or said 'what lovely coloured hair'.

Gingernut sounds offensive. Just pause and think before you make personal remarks maybe.

suziewoozie Fri 04-Oct-19 14:49:37

A friends dd (now 25) with beautiful red hair, suffered horribly from taunts, shouts, comments in public as she was growing up. It really upset her - how dare anyone make public comments about any aspect of anyone’s appearance. I hope you’ve learned a lesson OP. It’s not about taking offence - it’s about being rude, thoughtless and bad mannered.

fizzers Fri 04-Oct-19 15:01:17

well I certainly don't find it offensive, neither do my other red haired friends

Daisymae Fri 04-Oct-19 15:03:21

Sounds rude to me. If in doubt.........

Norah Fri 04-Oct-19 15:08:46

I think it's better to say nothing to strangers, than to risk offense.

Chestnut Fri 04-Oct-19 15:10:46

We should choose our words more carefully but some people just blurt it out without thinking. Reminds me of the time my husband said to one of my relatives (about her very tall daughter) 'She's a monster isn't she?' to which I curled up with embarrassment.

Sussexborn Fri 04-Oct-19 15:23:28

It’s not safe to make spontaneous comments nowadays. The constantly offended brigade have put a stop to friendly chit chat. If there isn’t anything to be offended about they just make something up.

What a sad miserable world they are creating for future generations.


SirChenjin Fri 04-Oct-19 15:33:18

It wasn't a compliment when my red haired sister was young 40 year ago and on the receiving end of similar comments from strangers and it isn't now - nothing to do with nowadays.

You could just have said 'what a gorgeous little boy' and left it at that.

Daisymae Fri 04-Oct-19 15:35:47

Hardly, if someone finds it offensive then it is offensive. 'Just a joke' is the defense of bullies and harassers. It doesn't hurt to have a quick think if a remark might offend. the op had doubts or they would not have raised the issue.

grapefruitpip Fri 04-Oct-19 15:41:48

The constantly offended brigade have put a stop to friendly chit chat

How can I join this brigade please? Does it have an email address? I suppose it an offshoot of the PC Brigade.....perhaps they share an office.

No, it's just damn rude to comment like that . End of.

suziewoozie Fri 04-Oct-19 15:49:56

It’s nothing to do with being ‘not safe’ or ‘constantly offended’. It’s about being grown up and emotionally intelligent. I frequently find myself in lifts with people of all ages, hair colour, heights and amazingly frequently have pleasant chats about inconsequential matters such as the weather, how busy town is and how long we had to wait for the lift.

BlueBelle Fri 04-Oct-19 15:56:00

This is nothing to do with the world being a sad place or nothing to do with people taking offence over nothing
The term has been used in a derogatory way as long as I can remember Even in my day red haired kids were taunted as ‘ginger nuts’ just as I was taunted as ‘four eyes’ Most of us have moved on and realised how hurtful ‘titles’ can be You do need to think before making personal comments
What beautiful hair, or a lovely smile are generic complements ....ginger nut is a very personal comment and not acceptable at all

Fennel Fri 04-Oct-19 16:07:54

Thanks - I've learnt my lesson. Having been a 'Ginge' myself I'm not sensitive about it, I got used to it. It was all in good humour in those days.
But I will have to get used to modern ways and learn how to hold my tongue.

Fennel Fri 04-Oct-19 16:10:32

ps I wonder what the replies would be on Mumsnet? wink