Today I learned that Ancient Rome was attacked by the Vandals. I thought, "Gee, Vandels and vandels... I wonder if there's a connection?" So, I typed into my sweet, little search bar "correlation of vandals the people and vandals the criminals". Wiki led me to the dictionary, and Dictionary.com had this to say:
Vandalism is the behaviour attributed to the Vandals in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable. Such action includes criminal damage, defacement, graffiti and crass erection of an eyesore.
Historically, vandalism has been justified by painter Gustave Courbet as destruction of monuments symbolizing "war and conquest". Therefore, it is often done as an expression of contempt, creativity, or both. Vandalism is only a meaningful concept in a culture that recognizes history and archaeology. Like other similar terms ( Barbarian/ barbary, and Philistine), the term Vandal was originally an ethnic slur referring to the Vandals, who under Geiseric sacked Rome in 455.
It makes me wonder how many, many words we have and use were or are considered ethnic slurs.
Anyone learn anything new today they would like to share?