Gypsy moth gets new name to avoid hurting gysies’ feelings

Gypsy moth gets new name to avoid hurting gysies’ feelings
Image: MaxwellFury / Pixabay

[Ed. – Has anyone asked the ‘gypsies’ whether they give a rat’s ass about what the insect is called?]

The largest organization of insect experts in the world is dropping its common names for two insects — the gypsy moth and gypsy ant — because it says the names are inappropriate and offensive.

The Entomological Society of America said it would take input on new names for the moth Lymantria dispar and the ant Aphaenogaster araneoides.

Many scientific groups follow its lead in referring to insect species.

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“Words matter, and what we call something matters. And by using the former name for Lymantria dispar, it really was very hurtful to the Romani people,” says Chris Stelzig, the executive director of the organization.

The Romani people, or Roma, are Europe’s largest ethnic minority and face discrimination. “Gypsy” is considered a pejorative term.

The ESA keeps a database of more than 2,000 common names for insects, along with their scientific names.

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