How Do You Spell COOLIE?

Pronunciation: [kˈuːli] (IPA)

The spelling of the word "coolie" can be confusing due to its origin and different dialects of English. It is pronounced /ˈkuːli/ in IPA phonetic transcription, with a long "oo" sound and a clear "l" at the end. The word was originally used to describe Chinese laborers in British colonies, and its spelling was influenced by various languages, including Hindi, Portuguese, and English. In some areas, the spelling has been changed to "kuli" to avoid its derogatory connotations. However, regardless of the spelling, the word is considered offensive and should not be used in modern language.

COOLIE Meaning and Definition

  1. Coolie is a derogatory term that originated in the 19th century and was used to categorize a particular group of laborers or manual workers, primarily in the context of colonialism. The term was predominantly used in regions of Asia, particularly India and China, during the era of Western imperialism. Coolie was employed to refer to individuals primarily of Asian descent, who were hired as indentured or contract laborers to perform arduous physical tasks for meager wages.

    Historically, coolies were subjected to various forms of exploitation, discrimination, and subjugation due to their socio-economic status and the prevalent racial prejudice of the time. They were often forcibly recruited, transported, and employed in harsh conditions, such as plantations, mines, construction sites, or railway projects.

    However, it is crucial to note that the usage of the term "coolie" is considered highly offensive, insensitive, and ethnocentric in contemporary times. It reflects a derogatory mindset perpetuating racial stereotypes and reinforcing power dynamics. Addressing someone as a coolie would be inappropriate and disrespectful, as it suggests a lack of recognition of their inherent human dignity and the unfair treatment historically associated with the term.

    It is important to employ respectful and inclusive language when referring to individuals who have historically been marginalized, ensuring that their labor and contributions are acknowledged and celebrated rather than diminishing their identities with derogatory terms like coolie.

  2. An East Indian porter or carrier.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Common Misspellings for COOLIE

Etymology of COOLIE

The word "coolie" has a complex etymology that evolved over time. It originated as a term to describe unskilled laborers, particularly those of Asian origin, who were often employed in manual labor on plantations, docks, construction sites, and other similar projects. The usage of the word has different origins and meanings in various languages:

1. Hindi (कूली): The Hindi word "कूली" (pronounced as "kuli") means a hired laborer, porter, or a person who carries heavy loads. It is derived from the Tamil word "kuli" which means wages.

2. Tamil (கூலி): In Tamil, "கூலி" (pronounced as "kuli") refers to hired laborers or wage laborers.


Similar spelling words for COOLIE

Plural form of COOLIE is COOLIES


Add the infographic to your website: