A branch of Primark in Glasgow is attracting attention on social media - because of a three-letter word on hats for sale in the store.
A tweet by Glasgow-based journalist Aoife-Grace Moore showed a picture of a grey baseball cap with the word ‘Hun’ on the front of it.
Ms Moore accompanied her photo with the caption: “Dear Primark Glasgow: This is a very very bad idea.”
Although the word is ordinarily recognised as a shortened version of the word ‘honey’, it has an alternative meaning in Glasgow, having been used as a derogatory slur against Protestants and Rangers supporters.
In June 2016, fans of the Ibrox club lobbied to make the use of the word in a footballing context a hate crime, and viewed in the same light as ‘fenian’, a derogatory term for Catholics.
Research carried out by communications regulator Ofcom later that year deemed ‘hun’ to be inoffensive, describing it as: “Mild language, generally of little concern. However, seen as less acceptable by those familiar with the history and use of the term as a sectarian insult.”
However, in 2015, then Celtic striker John Guidetti was charged by the Scottish FA over a TV interview he conducted with a Dutch broadcaster, in which he repeated the words of a song that Celtic supporters had sung which included the term.
The Swedish footballer was charged with breaching disciplinary rule 73, stating that ‘on or around March 6, 2015, you did in the course of an interview given to the Dutch Television Programme FC Rijnmond, make comment of an offensive nature.’
A Primark spokesperson said: “The cap features the popular and widely-used contraction of the term of endearment, ‘honey’.
“Any offence caused by this is wholly unintentional and we apologise.
“We know we have a responsibility to be alert to cultural sensitivities and have therefore taken the cap off sale in our Scottish stores.”