Have you ever wondered about the origin of the following words: Slave, Serf, Slav, Polak, bohunk, honky and bugger? The following article will give you the answer.
By Thomas M. Prymak
University of Toronto
During the 1960s, when I was a young undergraduate student in history at St Paul’s College, a Jesuit school at the University of Manitoba in western Canada, I took a seminar course in the history of the Crusades in which I had been interested since my youth, when I had read Sir Walter Scott, Harold Lamb, and other authors, who had painted these medieval events in such exciting colours: “Iron men and saints, off to liberate Jerusalem! Richard the Lionheart, brave to the point of foolishness; the victorious Sultan Saladin, noble, and generous to the vanquished!” However, my instructor in this course, Professor L. A. Desmond, who quickly became aware of my east European background, did not assign to me a topic on the Crusades to the Holy Land, as I had expected, but rather on “the Crusade against the Slavs” in the mid-twelfth century, a topic in which he thought I might be interested because of my ethnic background. Continue reading