"paki" is a slur against all Middle-easterners? I didn't know that, I thought it was only a slur against people from Pakistan and India and thereabouts.. Like Lodhas I originally thought it was just a word for Pakistanian.
That's the thing about racial slurs, they tend not to be specific. Of course, it might be a Glasgow specific thing.
It's always seemed to me that the slur in question might have begun as a descriptive term for a person from Pakistan then expanded to mean 'foreigner of a middle-eastern flavour' due to a combination of laziness (why learn the difference between an Indian, a Pakistani, a Bangladeshi, an Arab, a Persian etc. when you can just lump them all together under the same heading and drink some cheap cider instead) and ignorance (because, after all, there's only really us
, anyway). Hell, my uncle's bloody Iranian and he gets the aforementioned slur thrown at him, and there's not much to confuse between the two, culturally, linguistically, or appearance-wise.
According to the guy who was asked if he spoke '[ethnic slur]' (whom I hasten to point out was not Pakistani but Indian, and, by his own admission, not the most reliable of sources), 'pak' means 'peace' (I forget in which language, he spoke many
), and 'pak + i' (as in Arabi, Punjabi, Bangladeshi, etc.) was originally intended as the demonym for the people we now know instead as Pakistanis.
Mind you, he also taught a girl to write 'Fanny' instead of 'Danni' in the Devanagari script, (which lead to an hilarious
mix-up with a tattoo) so maybe take that one with a grain of salt.
Edit: 00.59 - Spelling.