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About the expression "off the reservation"



 
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About the expression "off the reservation" #1 (permalink) Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:53 am   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

I'm American Indian and I have always been curious about the expression "off the reservation". This is used by everyone to refer to someone(s) who is out of bounds or who has gone astray, etc. I have never cared for it but realize that I'm probably just over-sensitive. Could someone offer another expression that may ring the bell of over-sensitive non-Indians in the same way this does me. I'm not looking for an equivalent expression, but one that may be similarly un-PC as 'off the reservation' is to me. Sometimes this is the best way to get a point across. . to be just as offensive.
Wa Tom
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About the expression "off the reservation" #2 (permalink) Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:34 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

You could try, " He's gone walk-about ", meaning no one can find him until he returns.
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About the expression "off the reservation" #3 (permalink) Tue Mar 24, 2009 14:11 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

Wa Tom wrote:
Could someone offer another expression that may ring the bell

go rogue -
To cease to follow orders; to act on one's own, usually against expectation or instruction. To pursue one's own interests.

rogue - 11. no longer obedient, belonging, or accepted and hence not controllable or answerable; deviating, renegade: a rogue cop; a rogue union local.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=rogue&r=66
rogue - 3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls: "How could a single rogue trader bring down an otherwise profitable and well-regarded institution?" Saul Hansell.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rogue
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About the expression "off the reservation" #4 (permalink) Tue Mar 24, 2009 17:49 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

Thx guys but I don't think i accurately got my point out. Here's some discussion onwhat i was thinking.

The general question of "hidden" offensiveness in idioms is a legitimate one. Many of our words and phrases are painfully potent reminders of attitudes and practices of the past that we find reprehensible today.

"The phrase "rule of thumb" is notable today, not for its real origin, but for a modern myth of its origin. Supposedly, under English common law in the 17th century, the original "rule of thumb" allowed a man to beat his wife with a switch on the condition that the switch be no thicker than his thumb. Thus, it is said, the phrase is inherently oppressive and offensive and should never be used."

http://tinyurl.com/d48wdg
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About the expression "off the reservation" #5 (permalink) Tue Mar 24, 2009 18:31 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

I think " he's gone walkabout " fits the bill, especially PC wise. However, you are the best to judge. :oops:
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About the expression "off the reservation" #6 (permalink) Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:42 am   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

Gone walkabout is a distinctly Australian phrase, as far as I know.

Originally, it was an Aboriginal right of passage for young men coming of age, although I think it may also now be used to refer to any kind of a soul-searching journey or exploratory trip. Maybe we have some Australian English members who could confirm or correct me?

I can't comment on how offensive or unoffensive using the term would be to an Aborigine, since I'm not one.

While I'll concede your point about 'off the rez', I think even in this age of hyper-sensitive political correctness, I think the 'rule of thumb' comment is stretching the boundaries of sensitivity to the point of ludicrousness. The sensitivity issue becomes meaningless if it's completely over done.

If you try and speak nothing that can could possibly offend nobody, you might as well not speak. Anything can be twisted and construed to be "offensive" to somebody if you try hard enough.

I'm extremely leery of attempts to 'purify' language or thoughts. Free speech cuts both ways. (Oops, I just offended suicide victims, teenage 'cutters', swordsmen, butchers, and knife makers.)

I'm offended by somebody telling we what I should or shouldn't say. You have the right to tell me it bothers you, and I have the right to continue saying it if I decide not to acknowledge your concerns and be a Grade A jerk.

That said, I do think there are some deliberately inflammatory words and expressions that should be avoided, but the people who tend to use them, generally aren't the ones concerned about sensitivity, either.

Back to your original question, I can't think of phrase that has the same context as 'off the reservation' that could be considered offensive to another ethnic group.

"AWOL" has some similar meaning, but I doubt you're going to offend soldiers by using it. Jumping ship probably doesn't offend many sailors.

The problem is, you're asking for an equivalent phrase to a rather unique situation, the confinement of one ethnic group to a limited area by another race. You'd have to reverse the roles, to find something equally offensive. Of course, you're going to be hard pressed to find instances of the reverse of the Native/White relationship.

Perhaps some expression involving the use of 'ghetto' would have similar offense to a person of Jewish, Irish, Polish, Asian, Hispanic, or African ancestry? I can't think of one off the top of my head, but there's surely something akin.

Any reference to 'plantation' would likely carry similar negative connotations for a black American, but again I can't think of a commonly used idiom regarding such.

Marooned originally referred to fugitive black slaves who sought islands for their relative isolation and protection from discovery.

That's all I can come up with.
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About the expression "off the reservation" #7 (permalink) Wed Mar 25, 2009 19:57 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

Thx Skrej and Kitso,

I agree that walkabout reminds me and probably is more of an Aussie phrase. However, skrej you're kinda on to my OP about seeking a phrase to deliberately offend someone for an example. But i'm not seeking an equivalent to "off the rez", just a phrase that might offend someone (white man) to the point that I could say to them "it's the same as using "gone off the reservation" or being a "house negro' to an Indian or a black and then theymight then understand a little better. TIA
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About the expression "off the reservation" #8 (permalink) Wed Mar 25, 2009 20:12 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

I can think of many sayings to offend a white man, but none of them printable on here unfortunately. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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About the expression "off the reservation" #9 (permalink) Wed Mar 25, 2009 22:53 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

LOL Kitosdad. . How bout a simile or a metaphor that Americans use in daily conversation that's not normally considered offensive or Un-PC.
I hear or see in print. . so and so has "gone off the reservation" in the respectable places like the NYT or WaPo or CNN. why don't they say "so and so is acting like a bunch of wild Indians". Might as well to me.
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About the expression "off the reservation" #10 (permalink) Wed Mar 25, 2009 23:15 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

I know it's different because people don't say:" I was gyped or got jewed by somebody." or Let's go dutch! These kinds of saying are offensive and we don't use them. How bout "beyond the pale" etymology??
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About the expression "off the reservation" #11 (permalink) Thu Mar 26, 2009 14:57 pm   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

Idiom:
beyond the pale- Irrevocably unacceptable or unreasonable: behavior that was quite beyond the pale.

pale -
3. The area enclosed by a fence or boundary.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pale

The Pale of Settlement (Russian: Черта́ осе́длости, cherta osedlosti) was the term given to a region of Imperial Russia, along its western border, in which permanent residence of Jews was allowed, and beyond which Jewish residence was generally prohibited.
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About the expression "off the reservation" #12 (permalink) Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:44 am   About the expression "off the reservation"
 

I prefer the use of Tribe Names myself;

Seinfeld The Cigar Store Indian will open your eyes to NYolloywood.

Wa Tom wrote:
I'm American Indian and I have always been curious about the expression "off the reservation". This is used by everyone to refer to someone(s) who is out of bounds or who has gone astray, etc. I have never cared for it but realize that I'm probably just over-sensitive. Could someone offer another expression that may ring the bell of over-sensitive non-Indians in the same way this does me. I'm not looking for an equivalent expression, but one that may be similarly un-PC as 'off the reservation' is to me. Sometimes this is the best way to get a point across. . to be just as offensive.
InjunJoe
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the pale #13 (permalink) Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:19 am   the pale
 

I am pretty sure that the term "beyond the pale" comes from The English Pale which was an area around Dublin on Ireland under Anglo-Norman control in the 12th century and not the Russian Pale of Settlement suggested by Milanya. "Beyond the pale" thus originally meant being in an area not under English law.
Beelzebozo
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