Dictionary now calls 'anchor baby' an offensive term
The term "anchor baby" is sometimes used by those against automatic citizenship for all children born in the United States.
December 8th, 2011
12:22 PM ET

Dictionary now calls 'anchor baby' an offensive term

Editor's note: This story contains language that some readers may consider offensive.

The first new edition of the American Heritage Dictionary in 10 years contained 10,000 new entries – and one of them in particular caused a flurry of protest among immigrant and Latino advocates.

The fifth edition of the dictionary defined the term “anchor baby" as  “A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.”

The original definition did not include any indication that many people the term is offensive, as it does for words such as “nigger” and “spic.”

Immigration Impact, a group that that advocates for the rights of immigrants, first covered the word’s inclusion on its blog on December 2 and pressed for a change that would reflect the “poisonous and derogatory nature of the term.”

After reading the post, the executive editor of the dictionary, Steve Kleinedler, agreed that the definition needed to change.


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Filed under: Ethnicity • Immigration • Latino in America • Pop culture
Engage: Women shape social media flavor
Studies have shown that women place a greater emphasis on relationships and connecting with others through social media.
December 8th, 2011
11:02 AM ET

Engage: Women shape social media flavor

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