Why your social media is covered in gammon
Social media is an often-overwhelming swirl of opposing opinions and arguments.
However, certain phrases periodically cut through the noise and enter into the online vocabulary.
Perhaps surprisingly, "gammon" has become a popular term on social media to describe the rosy complexion of outraged middle-aged people in the UK. (...)
The term has grown since the Brexit referendum and 2017 general election, and has been seen by some as a response by the left to the term "snowflake" to describe easily offended liberal millennials. The gammon-snowflake clash seems to map the divisions between younger Remain voters and older people who supported Brexit. The pork-based insult has gained renewed prominence after an article in the Times newspaper reported some were saying it was a racial slur used by those supporting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to attack middle-aged men.
"Gammon" has been tweeted over 40,000 times in the past 24 hours.
Where did it come from?
The term was first used as an insult by viewers of the BBC's Question Time programme in 2016. (...)
However, "gammon" gained popularity after a collage of contributors to Question Time - each middle-aged, white and male - was shared along with the phrase "Great Wall of Gammon" in 2017.
Is it racist?
DUP MP Emma Little Pengelly tweeted she was "appalled" by the term, which she suggests is "based on skin colour and age". (...)
However, journalist Adam Bienkov wrote that there was no "disadvantage to being an angry old man with pink cheeks". (...)
Many others online drew a comparison between those offended by the term "gammon", and their derision of "snowflakes" as easily offended. (...)
Corbynites’ insults will only hurt themselves
Terms of abuse such as ‘gammon’ and ‘centrist dad’ keep the activists energised but will drive away swathes of voters
Gammon was last seen on dining tables in the 1970s, often crowned with a slice of withered pineapple. Now it’s back on the menu as the insult of choice among the Corbynite left — and it provides a key insight into the psychology of the Labour leader’s outriders.
Activists hurl the term at white, puffy, pink-cheeked, angry, middle-aged men who they think resemble the outdated dish. You know the type, the Corbynites wink: the blokes ranting about Brexit and Russia on Question Time. People who rate Jim Davidson and laugh at jokes about shirtlifters. Boorish petrolheads who worship Jeremy Clarkson. (...)
This is why the word 'gammon' is cooking up trouble in the UK
The insult has gained prominence after an article reported some were saying it was a racial slur used by those supporting Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to attack middle-aged men.
YOU MIGHT THINK of gammon as the bottom piece of a side of bacon, but the word has a new context in the UK.
The term ‘gammon’ is being used to describe the complexion of angry middle-aged white people.
The bacon-based insult was popularised by younger voters during the 2017 UK general election to describe a red-faced white male, usually ranting about Brexit and immigrants.
Gammon has since taken over the UK press, with analysis pieces appearing in most publications. (...)
A recent article in The Times UK claims that it is supporters of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn using the term to attack middle-aged men.
The phrase is seen as a response by the left to the term ‘snowflake’, which describes an millennial who’s easily offended.
The gammon and snowflake clash has highlighted the division that still remains between the generations following the Brexit vote.
According to the BBC, gammon gained momentum as an insult in 2017, when a Twitter user posted a collage of contributors to the programme Question Time, with the phrase ‘Great Wall of Gammon’. (...)
Since then many people in the UK have spoken out against the term, describing it as derogatory and even racist towards older white people.
Democratic Unionist Party MP Emma Little-Pengelly has backed the claims of racism, saying she was appalled by the used of the word. (...)
Columnist for the Guardian, Owen Jones, recently wrote that affluent white men are not a race and that white people mocking other white people over their skin colour is not racism.
"That right wingers are now pushing the use of the word ‘gammon’ as racism is an age-old example of how the privileged crave a sense of persecution, that they can target genuinely oppressed minorities while claiming they are the real victims.”
This opinion has been echoed by on social media, with many make light of the outrage. (...)
The debate surrounding the term gammon might seem benign but in a piece published today by Ben Davis, he explains how this debate is an insight into how online conversations are going.
As Davis coined the term gammon, we will leave the last word to him.
"Ultimately, though, what started out as a daft meme has become just another weapon in Twitter’s never-ending culture war. The right will call you “cucks”, the left will call you “gammons”, nothing will change and I will sit back and realise that even though I have had seven books published, my biggest impact on popular culture is noticing that some blokes looked like salty meat. I think I need another drink.”
Should we laugh along with the gammon people?
Racist, sexist, ageist or just funny? Zoe Williams on the insult du jour
The controversy over the insult ‘gammon’ has nothing to do with what it means: everyone knows what it means. Men the colour of ham, who hold a variety of nostalgic, socially conservative views, often a bit brutishly expressed.
Their natural habitat is the audience of Question Time, and their Twitter handles more often than not contain the flag of St George. They love finality and telling people what’s what. ‘End. Of’ is their favourite winning manoeuvre. The ‘centrist dad’ is their socially liberal counterpart: also a man, also middle-aged, also anti-Corbyn, also utterly convinced that his way is the only way. But the centrist dad is more likely to have a beard, a bike as well as a car (the gammon wouldn’t be seen dead on a bike), and less likely to be the colour of, well, gammon. Anyway, that much – by anyone who has been at all exercised about the term, in either direction – is already agreed. The question, apparently spurred by the commentator and broadcaster Aaron Bastani calling the MP Mike Gapes “King Gammon of the Gammoni”, is just how insulting it is. Obviously everyone says mean things about each other – the pro-Corbyn lot are frequently called idiots and fanatics – but there are depths that pollute the political sphere. Racism; classism; misogyny; violence; these would all be toxic to an already pretty smoggy discursive environment.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, the leading expert on gammons (he wrote the first piece about it, in Huck magazine), explained succinctly that it couldn’t be racist because nobody was born a gammon; rather, you become one through a series of lifestyle choices. When he says this, it’s an ironic repurposing to mean they chose to be boorish bigots, every day, over a number of years. He’s not making a physical value-judgment, the way people do about the obese. Ben Davis, who coined the term, said he was talking about middle-class, golf-club types, and worried it was being repurposed to attack working class men. The word’s detractors do seem to think it classist (or sometimes ageist) because, variously, gammon is a working class dish, now rarely to be found on menus, and – hilariously – nobody’s calling anyone prosciutto. These people appear never to have been in a pub. Plainly, you can be a middle or working or upper class gammon, but you do have to be male, so ‘sexist against men’ is probably the worst you could level at it. The problem is, it’s very funny, when someone is the colour of processed pork, to remark upon it. It always has been – when Caitlin Moran said David Cameron looked like C3PO made of ham, it was possibly the funniest thing anyone had ever said. It is a ring-the-doorbell-and-run-away burst of mischief. If you object you just make yourself look – cruel irony! – more gammony.
Meet the older Brexit supporters of Grimsby who are struggling to comprehend their new gammon nickname
It's an insult used to describe “white, puffy, pink-cheeked, angry, middle-aged” or elderly Brexit voters.
The term 'Gammon', coined by those on the Left opposed to Brexit, has peaked in popularity over the past few days - and attracted fury from Brexiteers across the country.
Some think it is a racial slur attacking the rosy complexion of outraged men of a certain age.
Others think it is a justified response to the 'snowflake' name used against millennials said to struggle with opposing opinions to their own.
But for the vast majority of older, male Brexit supporters in Grimsby, they are simply dumbfounded by their new nickname.
Sowie das Urban Dictionary:(von Feb 2018):
(Noun/mass noun): A term used to describe a particular type of Brexit-voting, middle-aged white male, whose meat-faced complexion suggests they are perilously close to a stroke.
The term 'gammon' is linked to the unhealthy pink skin tone of such stout yeomen, probably because of high blood pressure caused by decades of 'PC gone mad', being defeated in arguments about the non-existent merits of Brexit and women getting the vote.
Gammon often make their appearance on BBC's Question Time jabbing their porcine fingers at the camera while demanding immediate nuclear strikes against Remain-voting areas, people who eat vegetables and/or cyclists.
When gammon appears en masse it is often referred to as a "wall of gammon".
Middle aged red-faced white male, usually ranting about Brexit, immigrants and political correctness gone mad. First seen in wild in June 2017 edition of BBC Question Time from York. Immortalized in the hashtag #wallofgammon