What is a Ginger?

by katiem2

A ginger is a term used to described a certain sector of the population. Find out what ethnic group of society is referred to as gingers.

Ginger is the term used to describe we the fair skinned, freckled and redheaded few of society.

Less than four percent of the worlds population consist of naturally redheaded gingers. It is more than fare to say gingers are a rare breed.

Gingers, better referred to as red heads, originated in the UK with most of the ginger population coming from Scotland. I myself am Scottish.

The first gingers recorded on earth were from Africa who later spread throughout the north regions of Europe.

The red head (ginger) trait is recessive and can therefore occur randomly in a family generally of other dark haired members. So the odd redhead in a family of non redheads is in no way a sign of foul play.

What's a Ginger?

The history of a ginger or redhead has been recorded and documented to an isolated area.

While upwards of 30 % of all people who dye their hair do so red, there are only about 2% of natural redheads or gingers residing in America.

The majority of natural redheads is 13% and lives in Scotland with 10% living in Ireland.

While the professional hair colors or dye's are very good at mimicking the desired red color it is easy to spot a ginger poser.

Spotting a fake is easy once you realize the natural characteristics of a ginger, some of which just cannot be replicated.

How to Spot a Ginger

The key to spotting a ginger.












There are a few key ginger characteristic commonly over looked by those attempting to pose as a natural redhead.

  • Those characteristics are fair skin with freckles. It would be quiet a task to add those trademark freckles which can be found on the entire body of a ginger. Gingers freckles are most prominent anytime a ginger spends time in the sun. Gingers are quick to sunburn, they must frequently apply sunscreen or they will become very red in quick manner. A true ginger will not be found in the sun without a high protection sunscreen.
  • The hair on a gingers body appears to be very light almost white and often hairless. Gingers have very full or thick red hair on their head as the diameter of red hair is thicker than any other hair type.
  • Redheads have light colored eyes, either blue, green or hazel. 
  • Older gingers do not turn gray, their red hair turns sandy and then white. It is therefore common for gingers hair to lighten with age.
  • Gingers are said to be either stunning and attractive or plain and homely.
Personality Traits of Gingers
  • Gingers are said to be either sassy, fiery and temperamental or shy withdrawn and backwards with their personalities varying as their appearance.
  • Gingers are thought to have an explosive temper with strong personalities often taking the lead.  



Is Ginger a Bad Term?

Is it a derogatory term?











The first time I heard a kid at school refer to my daughter as a ginger it took me back.  She smiled warmly as it was a close friend, this is one of those tricky double standards if you will. My daughter is a very light skinned read head who's heavily freckled.  

Calling a red head a ginger is thought to be a derogatory term just as any other slang term used to describe any particular ethnic group is often frowned upon.  We do after all have names, we are a people not a genetic mutation, which is actually how our appearance occurs. But, those closes to us may get away with calling us a ginger on a good day, but do be wary of the gingers temper. 

Think about it I'm a red head, my daughters are red heads, do you feel it necessary to characterize us or any others by our pale skin, freckles and bright red hair?

Back in history gingers were considered to be an inferior race and were harshly discriminated against for our physical characteristics alone. Gingers, among other things, were consider to have no souls. I won't go into detail as to the many invalid things thought to be true of us as it is all very dark and negative.  One thing most certain, it's amazing we survived, it was tried on more than one occasion to end the ginger race.  


Ginger a Term of Endearment

Most often the term ginger is used to identify someone by their physical characteristics and yet there are those who use it as a term of endearment.

Times have changed, we are now a society embracing redheads, proof being that 30 %  who choose to take on the now desired appearance of a redhead.  You may want to consider the history of the term ginger before you unwittingly refer to someone as such making reference to their physical characteristics.  While It is thought to be acceptable if you're close to the ginger in question.  It's a fine balance.

It is always best to consider a person's name although I am often referred to as the tall, thin, redhead.  It's a common occurring reference made for quick identification of notable characteristics. It doesn't bother me at all personally as I'm very proud to be a red head or ginger if you will, my genetic matches of times gone by have survived a great deal of struggle, the least I can do is be red and be proud. Just don't call me ginger, you can call me Katie :)

Much Love and Happiness, Katie

Updated: 11/15/2012, katiem2
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Chat about Gingers

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katiem2 on 11/15/2012

Mira, So glad you came to see what it means to be a Ginger. :)

Mira on 11/15/2012

I love red hair :). Like humagaia, I wondered about "ginger" when I saw the title. I knew (even though I couldn't remember for certain) there was more to it than red hair :)). Writing about ginger as gay would, of course, be another article. :))

Francesca on 07/09/2012

thanks for your answer! maybe I haven't used the correct term...I watched a short video from the bbc called 'the uk debate about gingerism' (or something like this), there I heard of that word and it was used to mean 'prejudice against redheads' which I called 'such a bad tradition' in my prevoius comment. But I am not sure since that's the first time I have heard of it, please feel free to correct me!
Anyway I was wondering if in fact there is a prejudice in the uk...here in Italy (or at least where I live) red haired people are very rare and even if children could be picked on a bit at school, adults don't have any problems. I am 22 now and women and men seem love red hair :)
I hope the way I used 'gingerism' didn't sound like a bad comment about red hair itself because I didn't mean it in any way!

katiem2 on 07/08/2012

Francesca, Scotland embraces redheads holding them dear as they are unique to their homeland. The term Ginger is most often used to refer to a person with certain physical traits. To say someone is a ginger simply means to say (in short) the person has red hair, light skin, freckles and hazel or green eyes. It's a short way of referencing a person such as yourself and I as people refer to caucasian as white and dark skinned people as black, it is really that simple and in Europe never a bad word. This page is a discussion as to whether it is exceptable to refer to any race as a one word color, black, white, ginger. Great question, but rest assured you should have no social issues with your red headed characteristic. If so please write back and share with us what those issues are. Thanks :)

Francesca on 07/08/2012

I was reading about what is called 'gingerism' in the uk and I realized that I had never heard of it before, living maybe in Italy. But I do have a question...why a country with a large number of red haired people, has developped such a bad tradition?I mean, is that true or false?what about Scotland which has a lot of red heads?I have myself red hair so I'm very curious ;)
many thanks!

katiem2 on 06/09/2012

lol Thanks Craig, glad you've found me.

Craig on 06/09/2012

Ah more redhead information, I love this stuff, gotta love my redhead :)

katiem2 on 02/20/2012

Brenda, lol that's funny, I have my hands full with the two strong willed smart redheads I,ve got. I'll wait for the redheaded grand babies :)

BrendaReeves on 02/20/2012

This is very interesting. I know of at least two couples that gave birth to redheads and wondered where that came from. A short time ago I read that redheads were on the decline and going to become extinct. You better have a few more babies Katie.

katiem2 on 02/07/2012

Terri, I'm with you I feel its a positive as if society embraces, my daughters are called gingers affectionately at school. It's interesting how the term is being used and how commonly it is being used, I feel its a tag used in a different manner with the younger generation, many adults of our generation don't know what it means as if it skipped one here in the states...or more

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