What Do Amish Call Outsiders? Understanding the Amish Culture

If you’ve ever visited an Amish community, you may have heard them refer to outsiders as “English.” This term does not necessarily mean “from England,” but is used to describe anyone who is not Amish. Although it may sound like an insult at first, the Amish use this term simply as a way to distinguish themselves from non-Amish individuals.

The Amish lifestyle is one that is shrouded in mystery for many outsiders. From their plain clothing to their refusal of modern technology, the Amish value simplicity and self-reliance. This way of life is something that they have fiercely protected for centuries, and this includes their use of unique terminology and language. It is said that the Amish language is a mix of German and Dutch, and their use of the term “English” for outsiders is just one aspect of their distinct traditions.

Despite the fact that the Amish may seem insular to outsiders, they are known for their kindness and hospitality. Many Amish communities often welcome non-Amish individuals into their homes, offering them food and conversation. While their way of life may not be for everyone, one thing is for sure – the Amish are a fascinating and admirable group of people.

Definition of Amish

The Amish are a group of traditionalist Christians who belong to the Anabaptist movement, and are known for their simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt modern technology. They are typically recognized by their distinctive clothing, including men’s beards and broad-brimmed hats, and women’s long dresses and prayer caps.

  • The Amish trace their roots back to sixteenth-century Switzerland, where they were part of the Anabaptist movement.
  • Today, there are around 350,000 Amish people living in the United States, with the largest communities located in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
  • The Amish language is called Pennsylvania Dutch, which is actually a German dialect.

The Amish are generally known for their emphasis on self-sufficiency, community, and faith. They are known for their aversion to modern technology, including things like cars, televisions, and computers. This is because they believe that too much dependence on technology can distract from what is truly important: family, community, and God.

Despite their reluctance to adopt modern ways of living, the Amish are not entirely cut off from the outside world. They do interact with non-Amish people, although they refer to them as “outsiders” or “English.” The Amish view outsiders with a mix of caution and curiosity, as they try to balance their desire to stay true to their traditions with their need to interact with the world around them.

Core Beliefs of the Amish Core Practices of the Amish
The importance of community Plain dress
The rejection of modern technology Self-sufficiency
The life of simplicity and humility Work ethic and productivity

Overall, the Amish are a unique and fascinating group of people who are dedicated to living a simple, self-sufficient life while remaining true to their religious beliefs. Their views on technology and the outside world may seem extreme to some, but for the Amish, it is a way of life that has sustained them for generations.

Origin of Amish community

The Amish community originated in Switzerland in the early 16th century as a result of the Protestant Reformation. The group was founded by Jakob Ammann, a Swiss Anabaptist who believed in returning to the basic principles of Christianity. They were known for their refusal to engage in any modern technology or practices, and they lived in isolated, self-sufficient communities.

In the late 17th century, a group of Amish immigrants arrived in America to escape religious persecution in Europe. They settled in the rural areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, where they could work the land and maintain their traditional way of life. Over time, the Amish communities spread to other parts of the United States and Canada, and they have become an integral part of the cultural landscape in those regions.

What do Amish call outsiders?

  • The Amish refer to people who are not part of their community as “English”. This term is used to describe anyone who is not Amish, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality.
  • The use of the term “English” is thought to have originated from the fact that the Amish initially settled in Pennsylvania, which was a British colony at the time. The Amish would have seen the British as being different from themselves and would have referred to them as “English”. Over time, the term came to be used for anyone who was not Amish.
  • It’s worth noting that the term “English” is not considered derogatory by the Amish. It’s simply a way of distinguishing between those who are part of their community and those who are not.

Amish Beliefs and practices

The Amish have a strict set of religious beliefs and practices that guide their way of life. They believe in living a simple and pure existence, free from all forms of modern technology and worldly distractions. They dress modestly, and their clothing is often made from simple, plain materials.

They also believe in pacifism and nonresistance, and they refuse to participate in any form of violence or warfare. The community is also highly self-sufficient, with members often relying on one another for goods and services rather than seeking help from outside sources.

Amish Community Structure

The Amish community is highly structured, with strict rules and regulations governing all aspects of life. Each community is led by a bishop, who is responsible for overseeing the spiritual well-being of the community and making decisions on behalf of its members.

Key Figures in the Amish Community Roles and Responsibilities
Bishop Oversees the spiritual well-being of the community, performs baptisms and weddings, and makes important decisions on behalf of the community.
Minister Assists the bishop with spiritual duties and preaches in church services.
Deacon Assists with church services and helps members of the community in times of need.

While the Amish community may seem insular and closed off to outsiders, they are deeply committed to their way of life and to one another. Their values of simplicity, humility, and hard work are an inspiration to many, and their unwavering faith and commitment to tradition continue to draw admiration around the world.

Beliefs and Values of Amish Community

The Amish community is known for their strict, austere way of life that is rooted in their deeply held religious beliefs. Their faith teaches them to live simply, without the distractions of modern technology and to rely on their community for support. Central to the Amish way of life is their belief in the importance of humility, obedience, and submission to God.

What Do the Amish Call Outsiders?

  • The Amish refer to anyone outside of their community as “English”. This term is thought to have arisen because the Amish language is predominantly based on Swiss-German dialect, and the language of their “outsider” neighbors is English.
  • The use of the term “English” is not meant to be derogatory, but is used purely to differentiate between themselves and those outside their community.
  • There is no animosity toward outsiders, but the Amish view their way of life as wholly distinct from the mainstream culture of modern society, and they prefer to keep to themselves.

The Importance of Family and Community

The Amish place great value on family and community. Family units are seen as the foundational building blocks of the Amish community, with each member of the family expected to fulfill their duties and responsibilities. This emphasis on family extends to the broader community, where cooperation and the willingness to help one’s neighbor are highly valued.

Children are seen as a gift from God and a blessing to the family, and the Amish place great importance on raising their children to be responsible members of the community. Education is highly valued, but the Amish place a greater emphasis on teaching their children about their faith and the practical skills necessary to live a simple, self-sufficient life.

The Role of Technology in the Amish Community

The use of technology is limited in the Amish community, with certain forms of it being deemed unacceptable. Cars are not allowed because they are seen as a symbol of pride and individualism, which goes against the communal nature of the Amish way of life. Similarly, televisions, computers, and smartphones are seen as distractions that can pull people away from their faith and their obligations to their community.

Acceptable Technology Unacceptable Technology
Horse-drawn carriages Cars, motorcycles
Hand tools and non-electric machinery Electric tools and machinery
Oil lamps and candles Electric lights and appliances

Despite their limited use of technology, the Amish are not opposed to progress and innovation, as long as it does not disrupt their way of life or their core beliefs and values.

The role of outsiders in Amish culture

Outsiders, also known as “English” or “Gentiles,” play a significant role in Amish culture, whether they are welcomed or not. Below are some subtopics to consider:

The terms the Amish use for outsiders

  • When referring to non-Amish individuals, the Amish use the term “English” or “Amish Mennonite.” The term “Gentiles” is also used, but it is more commonly used among the Old Order Amish, who have more restrictive practices than other Amish groups.
  • The use of these terms reflects the Amish mindset that they are a distinct people from mainstream society and that non-Amish individuals are outsiders and not part of their community.

The Amish view on outsiders

The Amish view outsiders with a mixture of curiosity, suspicion, and wariness. While they may interact with non-Amish individuals through business dealings or other circumstances, they see themselves as separate from the world and prefer to keep to their own community as much as possible.

Amish beliefs and practices are shaped by the Bible and their traditions, which inform their social interactions and customs. They believe in living a simple lifestyle, free from modern technologies and the worldly distractions that they believe intrude on their spiritual life. To many Amish, interaction with outsiders is seen as a potential threat to their religious beliefs and lifestyle.

The impact of outsiders on Amish communities

Despite their reservations, outsiders have inevitably made an impact on Amish communities, whether through changing cultural norms, providing economic opportunities, or challenging traditional ways of life.

One area where outsiders have affected Amish communities is through tourism. Some Amish communities welcome tourists, seeing them as a source of income and an opportunity to share their culture with the world. However, others are wary of the impact of tourism on their way of life and prefer to keep a lower profile.

Positive aspects of outsiders Negative aspects of outsiders
Opportunities for business and commerce Threats to traditional culture and values
Exposure to new ideas and technologies Potential conflict with traditional religious beliefs
Increased diversity and cultural exchange Risk of exploitation or assimilation into mainstream society

Overall, the Amish view of outsiders is complex, influenced by their faith, history, and cultural values. While they may be cautious in their interactions with non-Amish individuals, they recognize that outsiders have had an impact on their lives and have played a role in shaping their culture over time.

Meaning of the term “outsider” in the context of Amish community

The Amish community has a unique way of life that sets them apart from the rest of society. They adhere to a strict set of rules and practices that govern all aspects of their lives, from dress and appearance to their daily routines and interactions. Therefore, the term “outsider” refers to anyone who is not a member of the Amish community.

  • The term “outsider” is commonly used by the Amish to refer to non-Amish individuals or groups. They believe that their way of life is distinct and separate from the modern world and culture, and therefore, those who are not part of their community are considered outsiders.
  • The Amish value their way of life and traditions, and they are wary of outsiders who may disrupt or challenge their beliefs and practices. They view outside influences as a threat to their community and the values they hold dear.
  • The Amish refer to outsiders as “English” or “the world” in their everyday language. While the term “English” refers specifically to non-Amish individuals, “the world” is a broader term used to describe the modern, non-Amish society as a whole.

Despite their separation from the outside world, the Amish do interact with outsiders, particularly in matters related to business and commerce. However, these interactions are often strictly controlled and limited, with the Amish striving to maintain their distinct way of life and values. The term “outsider” remains an important part of their identity and a reminder of the unique nature of their community.

Term used Definition
Outsider Non-Amish individuals or groups
English Specifically refers to non-Amish individuals
The world A broader term used to describe modern, non-Amish society as a whole

In conclusion, the term “outsider” is an essential part of the Amish identity and language. It defines their unique way of life and highlights the separation between their community and the outside world. While the Amish do interact with outsiders, they remain vigilant in protecting their values and traditions and maintaining their distinct way of life.

Attitude of Amish towards outsiders

The Amish community has often been seen as an enigma to outsiders. They are known for their traditional way of life, which includes dressing plainly, rejecting modern technology, and living a simple and humble existence.

However, despite their strict adherence to their own customs and traditions, the Amish community maintains a generally positive attitude towards outsiders. While they may be wary of the influence of the outside world, they are not hostile towards those who do not share their beliefs.

The Amish belief system is centered on the idea of separation from the world, and this extends to their relationships with outsiders. They view outsiders as people who are not part of their community, but who still deserve respect and kindness. As such, they are generally welcoming to visitors and are willing to share their way of life with those who are interested.

  • One of the ways in which the Amish show their hospitality to outsiders is through the practice of “Barn Raisings.” These events involve the community coming together to build barns for their neighbors, and often attract outside volunteers who are eager to participate in this unique cultural experience.
  • The Amish are also known for their homemade goods, such as quilts and furniture. Many outsiders seek out Amish-made products for their high quality and craftsmanship, and the Amish are happy to share their skills with those who appreciate them.
  • When it comes to interactions with outsiders, the Amish do have some guidelines that they follow. For instance, they may avoid physical contact with those who are not part of their community, in order to maintain their sense of purity and separation from the outside world.

Overall, the Amish community’s attitude towards outsiders is one of tolerance and respect. While they may not always agree with the outside world or its customs, they recognize the basic humanity of all people and are willing to engage with those who are outside their community.

Pros Cons
The Amish are generally welcoming to outsiders and are willing to share their way of life. They may be wary of the influence of the outside world and maintain a strict separation between themselves and outsiders.
The Amish’s practice of “Barn Raisings” and their homemade products are examples of their hospitality and willingness to engage with outsiders. There are certain guidelines that the Amish follow when interacting with outsiders, such as avoiding physical contact to maintain their sense of purity.

While the Amish community may seem insular to outsiders, their generally positive attitude towards outsiders speaks to their commitment to kindness, respect, and hospitality.

The Interaction of Amish with Outsiders

The Amish lifestyle is based on their religious beliefs and values. They are known for their simplicity and their separation from the modern world. The interaction of Amish with outsiders is a complex issue that involves both acceptance and rejection. Here are some key points:

  • The Amish term for outsiders is “English,” which is a reference to their non-German speaking heritage.
  • They are generally friendly and respectful towards outsiders, but they prefer to keep a distance from the non-Amish world.
  • Amish communities are self-sufficient and self-reliant, relying on their own resources and skills to meet their needs.

The Amish believe in living a simple life and avoid modern technology. They see it as a way to maintain independence and reduce the influence of the outside world. This has led to conflicts with local governments and non-Amish neighbors when it comes to issues like building codes and zoning laws.

The Amish have their own schools and place a strong emphasis on education. They believe that education should be practical and useful for daily life, rather than theoretical and academic. This approach has allowed them to maintain their distinctive culture and lifestyle over time.

Seven Ways the Amish Interact with Outsiders

Interaction Description
Visits to Non-Amish Homes The Amish are generally hospitable toward outsiders and may occasionally visit their homes for social visits or business purposes.
Engagement in the Labor Market Some Amish may work for non-Amish employers or operate businesses that cater to non-Amish customers. However, they generally avoid jobs that would require them to compromise their beliefs or values.
Participation in Local Government The Amish do not vote or hold public office. However, they may attend local government meetings to express their opinions or concerns on issues that affect their community.
Cooperation with Non-Amish Neighbors The Amish may sometimes cooperate with non-Amish neighbors on community projects or initiatives that benefit everyone.
Interaction with Tourists The Amish are increasingly popular as a tourist attraction, particularly in areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio where they are concentrated. Some Amish may engage with tourists for business or educational purposes.
Charitable Giving The Amish are known for their generosity towards those in need, regardless of their religious or cultural background. They may donate to local charities or participate in community service projects with non-Amish volunteers.
Avoidance of Cultural Assimilation The Amish value their distinct culture and way of life, and resist efforts to assimilate or integrate into the broader society.

The Amish approach to outsiders is based on the belief that they are called to be different from the world. While they may occasionally interact with non-Amish individuals and communities, they remain committed to their religious and cultural values.

Social and Cultural Barriers for Outsiders in Amish Community

The Amish community is known for preserving its traditional way of life, which is deeply rooted in their religious beliefs. Their unique lifestyle and way of thinking make them distinct from the rest of society, creating social and cultural barriers for outsiders who seek to get close to them.

One of the biggest barriers to outsiders in the Amish community is their language. The Amish speak a distinct dialect of German known as Pennsylvania Dutch. This language barrier makes communication with outsiders difficult and often results in misunderstandings. Furthermore, the Amish generally frown upon the use of technology, making it challenging for outsiders to make connections through social media or email. The Amish rely primarily on face-to-face interactions and written letters.

  • Language barrier
  • Mistrust towards technology
  • Reliance on face-to-face interactions

Another significant cultural barrier for outsiders is the Amish dress code. The Amish dress simply, often wearing clothes that are homemade, modest, and cover most of the body. Outsiders who do not dress according to the Amish standards can stick out like a sore thumb, causing discomfort for both the outsider and the Amish community. While the Amish are generally welcoming to visitors, their traditional beliefs often lead to clashes with outsiders who have different values and lifestyles.

The Amish value close-knit communities and often view outsiders with suspicion. They believe that the outside world’s values and beliefs conflict with their religious beliefs, and therefore, they keep their distance. Outsiders who wish to integrate into the Amish community must be willing to forsake their previous lives and embrace the Amish way of life fully.

Cultural Barrier Examples
Close-knit community values Viewing outsiders with suspicion
Value conflicts Religious beliefs vs. outside world’s values and beliefs
Integration into Amish society Complete commitment to the Amish way of life

In conclusion, the Amish community’s social and cultural barriers can make it difficult for outsiders to form meaningful relationships with them. These barriers derive from the Amish’s religious beliefs, their language, their dress code, and their close-knit communities. However, those willing to make a complete commitment to the Amish way of life can gain acceptance and even become part of the community.

Policies and regulations for Amish outsiders

When it comes to Amish communities, there are strict policies and regulations for outsiders who want to visit or interact with them. These policies are put in place to protect the community’s unique lifestyle, beliefs, and traditions.

  • Language: The Amish speak their own language called Pennsylvania Dutch or Deitsch. They expect outsiders to respect their language and not to impose their own language on them.
  • Clothing: The Amish have a distinct way of dressing that reflects their modesty and values. Outsiders are expected to dress modestly and avoid flashy or revealing clothing when visiting or interacting with the Amish.
  • Photography: The Amish do not allow photography because they believe it violates the Second Commandment against graven images. Outsiders are expected to respect this rule and not take photos of the Amish or their properties without permission.

Aside from these rules, there are also regulations that govern how outsiders can interact with the Amish in terms of business and government matters.

The Amish are exempted from paying social security taxes, but they are also not eligible for social security benefits. They are also exempted from having to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but they do not receive Medicaid benefits either.

There are also rules regarding how outsiders can conduct business with the Amish. For example, the Amish do not use electricity so outsiders who want to do business with them have to be willing to work without electricity. Outsiders also have to respect the Amish’s unique way of doing business which involves personal relationships and trust.

Regulations Details
Social Security Amish are exempted from paying social security taxes and are not eligible for social security benefits.
Health Insurance Amish are exempted from purchasing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act but do not receive Medicaid benefits.
Business Practices Outsiders who want to do business with the Amish have to respect their unique way of doing business which involves personal relationships and trust.

Overall, the Amish have strict policies and regulations that govern their interactions with outsiders. Outsiders who want to interact with the Amish have to be respectful of their unique lifestyle, language, beliefs, and traditions.

The impact of outsiders on Amish community.

The Amish community takes their separation from the modern world very seriously. They believe that living a simple and humble life, disconnected from the secular world, is the key to living a righteous and fulfilling life. For this reason, they refer to outsiders as “English” or “the world” to distinguish them from their own community.

  • The English bring change: The Amish have a long-standing tradition of living a simple life, which they firmly believe is the way to live a righteous and honorable life. The Amish community’s way of life has remained largely unchanged for centuries. However, the English, as outsiders, introduce new ideas and technologies that can threaten their way of life and values. As a result, the Amish see the English as a threat to their traditional way of life.
  • Breakdown of community: The introduction of outsiders can cause a fracture in the tight knit and highly organized Amish communities. Outsiders bring with them a way of life and values that are often incompatible with the Amish way of life, causing a breakdown in the community structure.
  • Loss of language: The Amish speak a unique language, Pennsylvania German, and have strict rules about when and how to speak it. The introduction of English-speaking outsiders can lead to the loss of their language, which is an important part of their culture.

Despite the challenges and issues that come with outsiders influencing the Amish community, there are also some positive impacts.

The Amish recognize that the world is changing, and they cannot remain completely disconnected from it. Interacting with outsiders can open up new opportunities and help them understand the world around them better. They have been able to learn new technologies, like solar power, that they use alongside their traditional practices.

Positive Effects Negative Effects
Learning new technologies Loss of language
Understanding the world around them Breakdown of community
Exposure to different ideas Threat to traditional way of life

Despite these potential negative effects of the outside world, the Amish believe that the benefits of their simple way of life outweigh the challenges. They hold tightly onto their beliefs, values, and traditions, even when faced with the influences of the outside world.

What do Amish call outsiders FAQs

1. Do Amish people use a specific term to refer to outsiders?

Yes, they commonly use the term “English” to refer to outsiders who are not part of their community. This term is used regardless of whether an individual speaks English or not.

2. Why do Amish people call outsiders “English”?

The term “English” is believed to have originated from the fact that non-Amish individuals often spoke English, while the Amish spoke Pennsylvania German at home. It eventually became a general term for anyone outside their community.

3. Is the term “English” offensive?

No, the term is not intended to be offensive. It is simply a way for the Amish to distinguish themselves from those who are not part of their community.

4. Are there other terms that the Amish use to refer to outsiders?

Some Amish individuals may use the term “worldly” or “sinner” to refer to outsiders who do not share their religious beliefs and practices.

5. How do Amish people interact with outsiders?

Amish people often keep to themselves, but they may interact with outsiders for business or other necessary purposes. They typically maintain polite and respectful interactions with those outside their community.

6. Can outsiders join the Amish community?

Technically, anyone can join the Amish community, but it is a difficult and lengthy process. Prospective members are required to undergo a period of testing and study before being accepted into the community.

7. Is there anything outsiders should keep in mind when interacting with the Amish?

Outsiders should be respectful of the Amish way of life and customs. It is also important to avoid taking photographs of the Amish without their permission, as many Amish individuals prefer to avoid being photographed.

Closing thoughts on what do Amish call outsiders

Thanks for reading! We hope this article helped answer your questions about what the Amish call outsiders. Remember to be respectful when interacting with others who have different beliefs and cultures. Come back soon for more interesting facts!