Do people guess your ethnicity, or lineage wrong?

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    Mar 15, 2016 9:51 PM GMT
    I know I'm not the only one, lol. You know who you are. People see something in your appearance, & feel they need to guess " what you are ". Maybe they see a similar characteristic to their own ( usually the case ), but some people just want to know. I've honestly been asked/told I'm so many things, that I can't even remember some. So who else? I know there must be others
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    Mar 15, 2016 9:58 PM GMT
    Gscepi917 saidI know I'm not the only one, lol. You know who you are. People see something in your appearance, & feel they need to guess " what you are ". Maybe they see a similar characteristic to their own ( usually the case ), but some people just want to know. I've honestly been asked/told I'm so many things, that I can't even remember some. So who else? I know there must be others

    I'm sometimes asked if I'm Jewish, especially in southern states. I think because I'm from the NYC area, and have traces of that regional accent. Plus I have an unusual last name.

    And I reply: "No, I don't have that honor."
  • mystery905

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    Mar 15, 2016 10:17 PM GMT
    Yes, all the time, probably because of my mixed heritage and Canadian accent.
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    Mar 15, 2016 10:30 PM GMT
    Gscepi917 saidbut some people just want to know.

    I like to know, out of curiosity; some people have interesting backgrounds. I also find it interesting since the US is such a melting pot of cultures.

    I have a friend whose parents are from Goa, which is one of the states or regions of India. Her parents emigrated from Goa in the late 1940s when it was a Portuguese colony (India reclaimed Goa in 1961). They emigrated to Kenya, where she was born and grew up. At that time it was a British colony. She grew up speaking Swahili, but every school year she was shipped off to London to Catholic school, so she speaks both Swahili and English. Being originally from a Portuguese colony her family was Catholic. When Kenya won its independence from Great Britain her family scattered all over; her mom had something like 13 kids. Some are in Europe, some here in the US, some still in Kenya.

    I had another acquaintance who was half Filipino and half black. I never asked her but I couldn't begin to guess what her makeup was (I had guessed Pacific Islander). Later on she talked about a black grandmother and a Filipino aunt.
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    Mar 15, 2016 10:48 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    Gscepi917 saidI know I'm not the only one, lol. You know who you are. People see something in your appearance, & feel they need to guess " what you are ". Maybe they see a similar characteristic to their own ( usually the case ), but some people just want to know. I've honestly been asked/told I'm so many things, that I can't even remember some. So who else? I know there must be others

    I'm sometimes asked if I'm Jewish, especially in southern states. I think because I'm from the NYC area, and have traces of that regional accent. Plus I have an unusual last name.

    And I reply: "No, I don't have that honor."

    Ahh yes, I hear a lot of people ask others that from last names. Personally I've only been asked Jewish once, or twice, but my brother has heard it a bit. Btw I really like your response to those asking.
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    Mar 15, 2016 10:49 PM GMT
    mystery905 saidYes, all the time, probably because of my mixed heritage and Canadian accent.


    Oh yeah, I forgot about accents too!
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    Mar 15, 2016 10:53 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal said
    Gscepi917 saidbut some people just want to know.

    I like to know, out of curiosity; some people have interesting backgrounds. I also find it interesting since the US is such a melting pot of cultures.

    I have a friend whose parents are from Goa, which is one of the states or regions of India. Her parents emigrated from Goa in the late 1940s when it was a Portuguese colony (India reclaimed Goa in 1961). They emigrated to Kenya, where she was born and grew up. At that time it was a British colony. She grew up speaking Swahili, but every school year she was shipped off to London to Catholic school, so she speaks both Swahili and English. Being originally from a Portuguese colony her family was Catholic. When Kenya won its independence from Great Britain her family scattered all over; her mom had something like 13 kids. Some are in Europe, some here in the US, some still in Kenya.

    I had another acquaintance who was half Filipino and half black. I never asked her but I couldn't begin to guess what her makeup was (I was guessing Pacific Islander). She talked about a black grandmother and a Filipino aunt.


    Oh yes, I can see that. I find different cultures, ethnicities, & different mixes interesting too. I guess I'm mostly surprised when they think I might be a different race, lol. Then despite my ethnicities sometimes I wonder if they are dissapointed to find out what am, or more specific what I'm not! lol
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    Mar 16, 2016 1:38 PM GMT
    My ancestry is Western European and French Canadian (who were basically transplanted Europeans) so I'm basically white as far as the eye can see and get no one trying to guess my lineage. Actually, after being introduced they pretty much guess I'm of French ancestry because of my very French name.
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    Mar 16, 2016 2:26 PM GMT
    I'm all northern & central European. Dutch, Irish, Czech, and some smattering of German, Scot, & French. Maybe why nobody can figure out what I am, cause neither can I! LOL
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    Mar 16, 2016 3:37 PM GMT
    I'm primarily black and Spanish descent by way of Puerto Rico. There's also a mixture of French, Irish, German and a list of others but I don't identify with them. I'm proud af of my black and Puerto Rican lineage icon_cool.gif
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    Mar 16, 2016 4:07 PM GMT
    Nope. I worked with a guy from China (who was a Red Guard three years previously, in China) who stated with a surprising degree of confidence that my ancestors came from Western Scotland. My last name is fairly common but doesn't start with "Mac" so I was certainly surprised. Particularly because my ancestors did come from that area over 200 years ago (!).

    I asked him why there and not England, Germany or France and he surprised me by saying he'd been to Europe and I definitely didn't look French or German (!!) and that I looked Scottish but could pass for English (lol). (And, no, I don't have red hair).

    Who knew???
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    Mar 16, 2016 5:09 PM GMT
    YVRguy saidNope. I worked with a guy from China (who was a Red Guard three years previously, in China) who stated with a surprising degree of confidence that my ancestors came from Western Scotland. My last name is fairly common but doesn't start with "Mac" so I was certainly surprised. Particularly because my ancestors did come from that area over 200 years ago (!).

    I asked him why there and not England, Germany or France and he surprised me by saying he'd been to Europe and I definitely didn't look French or German (!!) and that I looked Scottish but could pass for English (lol). (And, no, I don't have red hair).

    Who knew???
    interesting he could pinpoint your ancestry like that!
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    Mar 16, 2016 5:33 PM GMT
    YVRguy saidNope. I worked with a guy from China (who was a Red Guard three years previously, in China) who stated with a surprising degree of confidence that my ancestors came from Western Scotland. My last name is fairly common but doesn't start with "Mac" so I was certainly surprised. Particularly because my ancestors did come from that area over 200 years ago (!).

    I asked him why there and not England, Germany or France and he surprised me by saying he'd been to Europe and I definitely didn't look French or German (!!) and that I looked Scottish but could pass for English (lol). (And, no, I don't have red hair).

    Who knew???


    It is interesting when one runs across an observant person who is also good at pattern recognition, who then crosses the subtle gene pool clues to ferret out the connection to make surprisingly accurate guesses on minimal evidence about national origin. What is interesting is how certain genetic components which are dominant traits will slip through for generations upon generations in recognizable form.

    Sometimes it can also confound, though, as in spite of being from a Winthrop Ships family, during my traveling days I passed for just about everything except American; something I found rather amusing at the most inaccurate and improbable guesses which inevitably got made.
  • interestingch...

    Posts: 694

    Mar 16, 2016 5:42 PM GMT
    I worked in Greece when I left college at 19, all the greeks thought I was german because I was very brown and very blonde and also tall, they were surprised when I replied I was english. They like us anyway.
    When i was travelling around the US, everyone there thought I was Australian, why, I have no idea because I sound like I'm english but I have worked in Aussie but didn't pick up the accent, maybe its because I am laid back and a bit of a beach bum and into sports and i'm quite worldly too, who knows but I did get a lot of yanks thinking I was, not sure if they don't recognise the accents correctly.
  • Wendigo9

    Posts: 426

    Mar 16, 2016 5:53 PM GMT
    I've been mistaken for a six nations (native american) a few times, but I'm white and wouldn't dare fake/reject it like that NAACP girl's stunt or MJ
  • bucks88

    Posts: 5

    Mar 16, 2016 7:51 PM GMT
    Always. It seems to be a conversation starter for a lot of people when they talk to me. Somewhat frustrating at this point, especially when I have to articulate my ethnicity to every person I meet.
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    Mar 16, 2016 9:27 PM GMT
    Although I'm of Jewish Eastern European descent, I've sometimes over the course of my life been mistaken for Italian.
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    Mar 16, 2016 10:03 PM GMT
    I've been mistaken for Middle Eastern and Hispanic plenty. I feel like I have a quintessential (Southern) Italian look though, that or black Irish. Some people guess it right.
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    Mar 16, 2016 10:30 PM GMT
    i get middle eastern all the time. Italian and Romanian
  • Apparition

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    Mar 16, 2016 11:07 PM GMT
    nobody knows where I am from
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 17, 2016 12:11 AM GMT
    Many people have a hard time figuring out my ethnicity from my facial features, built, and accent.
  • dreamcock

    Posts: 574

    Mar 17, 2016 1:43 AM GMT
    I have German-Irish and Native American ancestry and am asked often if I'm Latino
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    Mar 17, 2016 2:53 AM GMT
    Never. Ever. LOL.
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    Mar 17, 2016 3:38 AM GMT
    Gscepi917 saidThen despite my ethnicities sometimes I wonder if they are dissapointed to find out what am, or more specific what I'm not! lol

    If you ever take up genealogy you might be surprised to find out what's in your family history. There were a few things that surprised me.
  • Ariodante83

    Posts: 152

    Mar 17, 2016 3:39 AM GMT
    Yes.