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“You Can’t Say That!”: 18 Time-Honored Sayings Woke Culture Wants to Erase from History

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Story by Elliot Peters for Man and Home 10-11-23

Wokism: A growing cultural consciousness that makes us think twice before using certain phrases. Our words shape our world, and while some old-school sayings might bring nostalgia, they can also encourage outdated or offensive views. So, let’s walk down memory lane and explore how some classic expressions have been reshaped – for better or for worse!

Hitting a Blind Spot and Not Just on the Road.

People often used the term “blind spot” in driving jargon, indicating that little area that mirrors just couldn’t capture. But when used metaphorically, it raised eyebrows. Connecting “blind” to “ignorance” can offend the visually impaired community. As society becomes more conscious of such subtleties, shifting from potentially insensitive idioms becomes key.

(Raises WHOSE eyebrows? I’m “visually impaired,” and I don’t have a problem with it,)

Indian Giver Is More Than Just a Take-Back

The term “Indian Giver” paints a misleading image of Native Americans, suggesting a tendency to retract gifts. Given the profound respect Native Americans have for giving and community, this phrase is a glaring misrepresentation. Today’s informed society is moving away from such misnomers, embracing accuracy and respect.

(Again, I have to take issue with this reasoning, since anyone with the least bit of American History know that the term at its core refers to Americans (usually the government) who gave Natives things then took them back. Every single Treaty the US Government made, they broke.)


While “addict” may have been tossed around easily in the past, it’s a narrow lens to view someone through. Addiction is a complex issue, and pigeonholing someone’s identity based solely on it is reductive. So, the world now leans towards more empathetic terms like “person with an addiction,” which better reflects the reality of the situation.

(Another indication of wanting to use more words to obscure a simple fact, like changing “homeless person” or” the homeless” to “person experiencing homelessness.” Seriously, are they going to start referring to abandoned or feral cats as “Felines experiencing homelessness” next?)

Lame Language? Time for an Upgrade!

Once, we wouldn’t think twice before labeling that less-than-thrilling movie as “lame.” But did you know this term originally described those with physical challenges? It’s high time we jazz up our vocabulary, don’t you think? There’s a whole world of words out there, from “mundane” to “uninspiring,” waiting to be used.


Man Up? Let’s Think Bigger!

“Man up” – it might’ve been your coach’s favorite pep talk. Yet, it subtly hints that bravery is a man’s game. Newsflash! With our evolving understanding of gender fluidity and emotional strength, shouldn’t our idioms grow, too? Bravery isn’t just for one of the genders. Let’s cheer each other on in more inclusive ways.

(Yeah, let’s bring in woke concepts like “gender fluidity” instead.)

Decoding the Policeman Conundrum

In the past, “Hurry up! Get the policeman!” was a staple line from the movies. But with the increasing number of dedicated women in blue, that phrase can feel out of place, right? The term “police officer” bridges this gap. It’s unbiased, forward-thinking, and gives a nod of respect to every individual serving in the force, irrespective of their gender.

(Using “police officer” is okay, but again the ‘logic’ is misleading You’re much more likely to have heard “Call the Cops!” or “Call the police!” than “Hurry up! Get the policeman!” )

Hey, Guys! Or is it… Everyone?

Who hasn’t just called out, “Hey, guys!” upon entering a gathering? It was the ultimate casual greeting. However, on closer examination, “guys” might be boxing us into gender corners. With society’s expanding views on gender and inclusivity, it’s about time our everyday greetings got an upgrade. “Hello, folks” or “Hey, crew” has a fresh, inclusive ring to it, right?

(Oh, dear! “gender AND inclusivity?” What a crock!)

Don’t Be So Hysterical

Using “hysterical” to describe something extremely funny or exaggerated became second nature for many. However, a peek into the past reveals its association with women, suggesting an exaggerated emotional state. In our journey towards embracing gender fairness and shedding stereotypes, sidelining such terms feels right.

(Feels trump everything, right?”

Grandfathered Is a Term with Deep Roots .

On the surface, “grandfathered” shows a sense of legacy and timelessness. However, its historical roots connect it to policies that, unfortunately, sidelined Black communities during the post-Civil War period. As conversations around racial justice become louder, reassessing and recontextualizing some of our age-old terms seems the best option.

(What juvenile BS!)

Real Man, Real Woman? Let’s Rethink That! .

Ever wondered who came up with the criteria for a “real” man or woman? These phrases press people into molds they may not fit into. Instead of sticking to narrow definitions, it’s high time we acknowledged and celebrated every person’s individuality. After all, every person’s journey and identity are real and valid, regardless of societal expectations.

(I can’t decide whether the OP is being satirical or serious. For 99% of humans you’re either XX -female- or XY -male- and surgical mutilation does not change that. [I’m excluding the extremely rare hermaphrodites.)

Mastering a New Bedroom Terminology

Historically, the term “Master bedroom” sounded fancy. But dig a little deeper, and you uncover undertones of slavery and hierarchical dominance. As societies become more conscious and sensitive, many advocate for a terminology shift. “Primary bedroom” or “main suite” not only sounds contemporary but also lacks the baggage of the past.

(More regurgitated crap. Some snowflake’s feels might get hurt.)

Seeing Beyond ‘Colorblind’

In the past, proclaiming, “I’m colorblind” was a well-intended remark to show you were impartial about race. However, in today’s more nuanced world, this phrase might be seen as a way to gloss over individual racial experiences and challenges. It’s not about being blind to color but understanding and appreciating the stories each color tells.

(This stupidity needs no further comment.)

From Mankind to Humankind: An Inclusive Shift.

Once upon a time, “mankind” was a common phrase, representing all of humanity. But as our understanding of gender becomes more sophisticated and inclusive, this term feels a tad exclusive. The shift towards “humankind” is more than just linguistic. It’s a nod towards a future where everyone feels seen and acknowledged.

(There’s already a term for that: HUMANITY, FFS.)

The Whitelist Conundrum.

The term “Whitelist” was traditionally used to describe approved or safe items. However, against a backdrop of racial sensitivities, words that unconsciously encourage color biases are being reevaluated. So, it’s no surprise that “allow list” is gaining traction, emphasizing function over potentially problematic connotations.

(Has anyone ever seen “allow list” before? Or “disallow list”?)

Steering Clear of ‘Gyp’

To “gyp” someone out of something meant that you deceived them. But what many might not realize is that it’s rooted in stereotypes against the Romani people. With a broader understanding of cultural sensitivities, it’s only right that we retire such phrases and opt for words that don’t allow for such biases.

(This one I can agree with, but what’s next? Eliminate “con” because it offends people convicted of a crime?)

Humanizing Undocumented Individuals

Terms matter, especially when they concern human beings. Labeling someone as an “illegal alien” feels cold and strips them of their humanity. As conversations around immigration grow more compassionate, “undocumented individuals” emerges as a term that’s both accurate and respectful.

(They’re still here illegally, bunky.)

I’ can’t hear you! Nah nah nah nah nah I can’t hear you!

The ‘Crazy’ and ‘Insane’ Evolution

Calling an unexpected event “crazy” or “insane” was commonplace. But as society becomes more aware of the realities and challenges of mental health, such casual use can feel dismissive. When used out of context, these terms can trivialize genuine mental health issues. It reflects a society that’s growing more empathetic by the day.

(So, calling the Hamas 2023 mass murders “Insane” is inaccurate?)

Moving Away from Troubled Waters

Historically, the expression “sold down the river” was used casually to indicate betrayal. However, its origins trace back to the dark times of American slavery, where slaves were often literally sold down the Mississippi River. Today, with an emphasis on sensitivity and historical accuracy, it’s better to opt for alternatives like “betrayed” or “deceived.”

(Uhm, historically, it would have been UP the Mississippi. New Orleans was the port of entry, not someplace in Iowa or Illinois. Yet another woke distortion.)

As I said above, I’m not sure if the OP is being satirical or serious. Unfortunately, I think he’s serious.


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