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PostCatalans as "Polacos" (Paul Preston, UK, 03/18/13 1:52 am)
In response to Leo Goldberger and JE (17 March), Spanish right-wingers still refer to Catalans as polacos. In recognition of this, the wonderful political satire on TV3, the Catalan station, is called Polonia.
JE comments: Here's an interesting essay from Polska Viva, the "Diario en español de Polonia":
According to the above, in the 17th century Polish timber for Spain's shipbuilding industry arrived by land to Marseille, from where Catalan ships would transport it to ports in Andalusia. The Poles referred to the Spaniards of the south as "czarny" (black), which led to the modern Catalan term "charnego" (xarnego) for Andalusian immigrants in Catalunya.
While "czarnego" is the correct genitive form of the Polish adjective, this sounds to me like a folk etymology. Perhaps Paul Preston could comment.