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Khokhol (Ukrainian: хохол or оселедець, Polish: chochoł or osełedec, Russian: хохо́л) is the stereotypical Ukrainian cossack style of haircut that features a long lock of hair left on the otherwise completely shaved head, commonly sprouting from the top or the front of an otherwise closely shaven head. It is commonly used as a pejorative term for ethnic Ukrainians.
Russians commonly use the word khokhol as an ethnic slur for Ukrainians, as it was a common haircut of Cossacks. The term is frequently derogatory or condescending, an equivalent of the Ukrainian term katsap and Polish kacap for Russians.
Historically, Ukrainians have used the term khokhol amongst themselves as a form of ethnic self-identification, in order to visibly separate themselves from Russians.
The Ukrainian name for this type of haircut is oseledets (Ukrainian: оселедець, literally "herring") or chub (Ukrainian: чуб, meaning "crest"). There are several Ukrainian surnames derived from this word. In the Cossacks times the haircut carried an honorary meaning identifying one as being a true Cossack. That tradition is depicted in various motion pictures such as Propala Hramota that is based on works of Nikolai Gogol.
The khokhol/oseledets is a standard feature in the stereotypical image of a Ukrainian Cossack.
- Laitin, David D. (1998). Identity in Formation: The Russian-speaking Populations in the Near Abroad. Cornell University Press. p. 175. ISBN 9780801484957.
- Thompson, Ewa M. (1991). The Search for Self-Definition in Russian Literature. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 22. ISBN 978-90-272-7759-6. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- Plokhy, Serhii (2008). Ukraine and Russia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 139–141.
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