and your ilk

Mnemon

Senior Member
Persian - 𐎱𐎾𐎿𐎡
a. I hate you and people of your ilk.

b. I hate you and your ilk.


Hi.

Do they both work for you?
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    A) is not correct usage. If you want to use 'ilk' instead of 'people like you', or 'your sort', go ahead and do so. You're not going to endear yourself whichever you use. The word 'ilk' sounds a bit upper-class to my mind, or pretentious, or something.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Ilk" is reasonably common, but it doesn't really fit in an insult. Insults usually have to be simple and direct to be effective, and you don't want the other person to be left wondering what "and your ilk" is meant to mean.
     

    Mnemon

    Senior Member
    Persian - 𐎱𐎾𐎿𐎡
    Forgive me if I am wrong, but I think BLUEGLAZE means it's generally used when talking down to people in disdain, not in everyday conversations.
    May I know your idea about option (a), pops? You agree with MS Golightly or perhaps of a different opinion?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A is grammatically correct but doesn't sound like an insult.

    B sounds like an ineffective insult.

    I agree that it's not really a conversational word for most people. It sounds more like something you'd read in an essay or something, describing a certain type of person.

    "People of that ilk don't understand the benefit of..."
     

    Mnemon

    Senior Member
    Persian - 𐎱𐎾𐎿𐎡
    There is still something (shall we say discrepancy, or perhaps incongruity?) I don't quite get.

    "Ilk" is reasonably common, but it doesn't really fit in an insult.
    As far as I know the term has some sort of negative connotation with it (mainly used disapprovingly), then why isn't it fit for purpose?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    What is my ilk? What is your ilk? Have you ever met an ilk? I haven't. "Your ilk" means something similar to "like you", but different. Different in what way? What does it actually mean?

    I hate you and people of your ilk.
    What does this mean? What kind of people do you hate? Tall people? Blond people? Overweight people? People with the surname Peabody? Sailors? Blacksmiths? Some ethnic group? Citizens of some country? "Ilk" does not say. So it has no meaning. Maybe that is why I've never used the word, or heard the word.

    Occasionally I see it written (usually in an 1800s novel).
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It does in the U.S.
    It generally does in Britain too. "Of that ilk" is a very special use that few people who aren't from Scotland have heard of.

    What does this mean? What kind of people do you hate? Tall people? Blond people? Overweight people? People with the surname Peabody? Sailors? Blacksmiths? Some ethnic group? Citizens of some country? "Ilk" does not say. So it has no meaning.
    How very well put.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    Does it really? So you mean that there is a negative connotation about the Scottish clan chiefs' use of "of that ilk".
    Of that Ilk - Wikipedia
    The Scottish clan chiefs' use doesn't seem to have a negative connotation, but in the US I think it has a very faint negative or slightly facetious connotation that becomes stronger with a negative tone of voice or a more strongly negative context.

    Four-year-olds and their ilk will love Brandon Bumblefitch's new movie "Toilets R Us."

    Quack doctors and their ilk dupe people into believing that they can avoid Covid by drinking an elixir of brandy and kale juice.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    Quack doctors and their ilk dupe people into believing that they can avoid Covid by drinking an elixir of brandy and kale juice.
    Who are "their ilk"? They are not quack doctors (that is already in the phrase "quack doctors"). What people (that are not quack doctors) dupe people into believing that they can avoid Covid by drinking an elixir of brandy and kale juice?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Just because you haven't heard of it before doesn't mean it's not used that way. It's by definition not specific. It's equivalent to "their type". Context determines the meaning, just as it does with "type". The difference is type doesn't have an inherently negative connotation the way ilk does. If you want "ilk" to have a very specific, defined meaning then you are asking for the impossible. "Ilk" isn't used that way and neither is "type". It requires a bit of reading comprehension and life experience (not spoon-feeding) to understand it.
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Who are "their ilk"?
    OED:
    Ilk: C. n.
    Originally: family, class, set, or lot, esp. in that ilk. Subsequently, in extended use and with other premodifiers: kind, sort.

    1943 J. Kerouac Let. 7 Apr. in Sel. Lett. 1940–56 (1995) 59 I'm sure he's one of those prim, sparsely-hued ‘moderns’, who considers his ilk the backbone of the nation.

    1968 H. S. Thompson Let. 24 Sept. in Fear & Loathing in Amer. (2000) 128 You and your swinish, hypocritical ilk.

    1972 Life 1 Sept. 52/2 Ladies of every ilk.

    2005 M. Atwood Penelopiad v. 19 Smaller fry, the table-tilters, the mediums, the channellers, people of that ilk.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    a. I hate you and people of your ilk.

    b. I hate you and your ilk.


    Hi.

    Do they both work for you?
    I agree with Blueglaze at #2. If you use it, you are instantly putting yourself up as the listener's superior. Fisticuffs may ensue.
    "Ilk" is reasonably common, but it doesn't really fit in an insult. Insults usually have to be simple and direct to be effective, and you don't want the other person to be left wondering what "and your ilk" is meant to mean.
    The idea is that "and your ilk" is used when the person (in the given context) has been informed by your manner and/or word of the low esteem in which you hold them. Sort, type, and kind are close synonyms.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes. I’m struggling to think of a scenario in which anyone would instinctively use the phrase “of that ilk” if all they wanted to do was refer in a benign/innocent way to a particular type of person. But in the unlikely event that they used it about things rather than people, that would probably not apply.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "Hmm... That's a lot of money you owe. What you need is a rich uncle, a fairy godmother or someone of that ilk."
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    Who are "their ilk"? They are not quack doctors (that is already in the phrase "quack doctors"). What people (that are not quack doctors) dupe people into believing that they can avoid Covid by drinking an elixir of brandy and kale juice?
    In this hypothetical and unlikely scenario, bloggers, vloggers, and influencers on social media who claim to know secrets to good health.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Holistic nutritionists who know something "doctors don't want you to know", because their business would be destroyed if you knew "this one simple trick".
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I think we need to make a social distinction between:
    1. "Quack doctors and people of that ilk... a fairy godmother or someone of that ilk." Here the meaning is very clear and not intrinsically derogatory: it simply means "someone like that"; AND
    2. "You and people of your ilk." It is hard to see how this would not be insulting. To refer to a person in conversation as if they are merely one of a category, and a category which you do not even deign to name, is belittling. Said by a white person to a black person it calls for a formal complaint. The same proviso would go for "You and your people", as we have seen in a recent Buckingham Palace row*.
    ________________________________________

    *NOTE: I believe that Lady Hussey may have meant "people" in the old upper-class sense of "parents", but she was still insufferably rude. The innocent insidiousness of "Where are you from?".
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    I think we need to make a social distinction between:
    1. "Quack doctors and people of that ilk... a fairy godmother or someone of that ilk." Here the meaning is very clear and not intrinsically derogatory: it simply means "someone like that"; AND
    2. "You and people of your ilk." It is hard to see how this would not be insulting. To refer to a person in conversation as if they are merely one of a category, and a category which you do not even deign to name, is belittling. Said by a white person to a black person it calls for a formal complaint. The same proviso would go for "You and your people", as we have seen in a recent Buckingham Palace row*.
    ________________________________________

    *NOTE: I believe that Lady Hussey may have meant "people" in the old upper-class sense of "parents", but she was still insufferably rude. The innocent insidiousness of "Where are you from?".
    As regards the OED examples of Kerouac, Thompson, and Atwood (#18), their use of 'ilk' is not intrinsically derogatory, but it is used in a derogatory context. And I think that in the US (and apparently Canada, if 'Atwood' is Margaret Atwood) it's used that way: not derogatory per se, but not used outside of a context that's to some extent derogatory.
     
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