White is a racial classification and skin color specifier, used mostly and exclusively for people of European and, more broadly Western Eurasian descent; depending on context, nationality, and point of view. The term has at times been expanded to encompass persons of South Asian, West Asian, and North African descent, It has also been argued that light-skinned Jews, Armenians, and other light-skinned people are whitepersons who are often considered non-white in other contexts in the United States. It has also controversially been alleged that, in the United States, people of Southern European and even Irish descent have been excluded from this category, although this idea has been contested. The usage of "white people" or a "white race" for a large group of mainly or exclusively European populations, defined by their light skin, among other physical characteristics, and contrasting with "black people", Amerindians, Brown Race and other "colored" people or "persons of color", originated in the 17th century. It was only during the 19th century that this vague category was transformed in a pseudo-scientific system of race and skin color relations.