Class of cat breeds. An attempt, from the 1950s onwards, to recreate the historical varieties of colouring which western explorers had found in the cats of Siam, which had been since bred out by the breeders of Siamese cats in the west and subsumed into general mogginess back home. The process involved cross-breeding various types of Siamese with other self-coloured and patterned breeds - a sealpoint Siamese and a Russian Blue in the first instance - to produce a cat with the Siamese body shape but with a uniform coloured or patterned coat. The self-coloured breeds were originally known as "Foreign " but all except Foreign Whites and Havanas (the earliest variety) are now known under names following the "Oriental " pattern. A large number of Oriental breeds now have championship status.

Oriental cats share many of the typical characteristics of Siamese, in that they are elegant, streamlined, companionable, have loud voices, and don't like the cold much. They mostly like company and hang around in packs given half a chance (none of this Cat who Walks by Himself nonsense). Despite their elegant appearance they have a certain reputation for clumsiness.

In South American Spanish, a native of Uruguay, or, to name it correctly, the República Oriental de Uruguay, thus named because it lies to the East of the eponymous river.

Although it literally means "from the East" as Webster 1913 so helpfully pointed out, it is generally not a good idea to refer to people in this manner. Because it conjures up bad memories of times past, it is generally considered rude to refer to a Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, or otherwise East Asian person by the term "oriental."

Referring to rugs or other inanimate objects using this adjective is still considered perfectly Kosher.

i am an asian girl
stretched between two
worlds like a hammock.
but listen and please don’t
fall asleep.

it’s not an east meets west
décor in this mind of mine
it’s the art of war
and peace.
there are no delicate dragons,
no full fat creamy leather.
just dead red floppy fish
and limp pizza.

through these brown black eyes
(double lidded; thanks mom
thanks dad)
i watch project runway
america’s next top model
cashmere mafia.
(dear mr. kevin wade:
mason is not an
asian last name.)

with these workhorse shoulders
i play girls’ rugby.
with these mountain province thighs
that bring me miles from home
and warm stomach
where hide the seeds of heartache,
i squeeze shamefully into
size L jeans at yashow.

this skin
brown as the earth after harvest
is a defiant answer to
“are you filipino?” or
“try our whitening cream.”
no, i am not and
i would like to tell you
where you can stick your cream.

somewhere between truth and family
there are lies to save face and sanity,
yours and theirs.
somewhere between a 3.5 and 4.0
there is newton’s second law,
and a scarlet letter confession.

i am an asian girl
and this is
an asian girl poem.

O`ri*en"tal (?), a. [L. orientalis: cf. F. oriental.]

Of or pertaining to the orient or east; eastern; concerned with the East or Orientalism; -- opposed to occidental; as, Oriental countries.

The sun's ascendant and oriental radiations. Sir T. Browne.


© Webster 1913.

O`ri*en"tal, n.


A native or inhabitant of the Orient or some Eastern part of the world; an Asiatic.

2. pl. Eccl.

Eastern Christians of the Greek rite.


© Webster 1913.

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