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腹違い and 種違い are ways to refer to siblings born of different mothers/fathers. Are these terms rude/disrespectful? Or are they about as innocuous as saying "half-siblings"?

Also, I could open another question, but for bonus points, is ハーフ considered a rude term to refer to mixed-race people? Or is it totally kosher?

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  • This seems like a question about culture rather than language. Mar 3, 2023 at 15:52

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Generally 種違い or 腹違い is not considered as rude/discriminative, it is simply a bit oldish. In not-so-frequent occasions to refer to such things, I guess 父親/母親が違う would be used.

That said, I won't be surprised if there are people who claim they should be avoided mainly because 腹 or 種 may sound treating people as an instrument to produce children.

As for ハーフ, from the Japanese side, it has no derogatory sense and means people whose parents are of different nationalities, although it is usually expected that there's a difference in race. (E.g., a child from a Japanese of Japanese origin and an American of Japanese origin would be ハーフ technically, but not typically thought of when speaking of a ハーフ.)

Not sure how it sounds to ハーフ people who understand English natively.


This Wikipedia article contains more details on ハーフ, but for most ordinary people, it does not sound rude. It mentions there is a word ダブル to avoid ハーフ, but I've never heard of it (sounds like coffee or whisky...)

The word あいのこ is derogatory, but this is rather dated and not really current.

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  • I just notice half&half can mean coffee with milk in the US, then wondered if ハーフ&ハーフ for pizza is a Japanese-English.
    – sundowner
    Mar 2, 2023 at 23:14
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    You can say half & half for pizza in English too! :-) Mar 3, 2023 at 0:12
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    @sundowner Half-and-half in English can be anything that’s made up of two equal parts. It’s not uncommon for people of mixed race origins to describe themselves as being half and half either (something like “My mum’s Mexican, my dad’s Vietnamese, so I’m half-and-half” is perfectly natural). The Wiktionary entry gives further, more or less fixed, ways the term is used. Mar 3, 2023 at 12:32
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    "half&half" does not mean "coffee with milk"; it means a specific additive for coffee which consists of half milk and half cream (except that the definition of "cream" varies widely, normally admitting anywhere from 18 to 35% butterfat - locally, I see "half and half' referring to a 10% butterfat product, because the 18% product is already called "table cream"). A mixture of specifically half coffee and half milk doesn't have a specific name, but anything with that much milk in it would probably be called a latte. That weblio entry seems to imply that ミルク has a different connotation from 牛乳. Mar 3, 2023 at 15:56
  • @KarlKnechtel So it is a generic name for cream-ish additive (i.e., multiple manufacturers provide the same kind of additive) which is supposed to be healthier (by containing less fat)?
    – sundowner
    Mar 4, 2023 at 2:35

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