Vlachs, referring to pastoralists, was a common name for Serbs in the Ottoman Empire and later. It was used as a derogatory term and a common name used to denote the Eastern Orthodox Christian Serbs in Roman catholic and lesser in Ottoman lands.
Tihomir Ðordevic points to the already mentioned fact that the name 'Vlach' didn't only refer to genuine Vlachs, but also to cattle breeders in general. A letter of Emperor Ferdinand, sent on November 6, 1538, to Croatian ban Petar Keglevic, in which he wrote "Captains and dukes of the Rasians, or the Serbs, or the Vlachs, who usually call themselves the Serbs". Serbs that took refuge in the Habsburg Krajina, were called "Vlachs" by Croats. In the work "About the Vlachs" from 1806, Metropolitan Stevan Stratimirovic states that Roman Catholics from Croatia and Slavonia scornfully used the name 'Vlach' for "the Slovenians (Slavs) and Serbs, who are of our, Eastern confession (Orthodoxy)", and that "the Turks in Bosnia and Serbia also call every Bosnian or Serbian Christian a Vlach (T. Ðordevic, 1984:110). That the name 'Vlach' used to signify the Serbs is testified by Vuk Karadic as well, who quotes the poem sang by Turkish women
: "A couple of Vlachs came passing by, with powder in their pumpkins". In "Serbian Dictionary" itself, under the word 'Vlach', the above mentioned assertion is confirmed, as well as in many other proverbs recorded by Vuk.