The aim of this paper is to identify and describe forms and functions of generalizing language use in the context of German colonialism. To this end, the term genericity will be conceived as comprising all linguistic forms used for expressing generalizations. The colonial dispositif, colonial discourses and colonial texts are understood as specific contexts for generic language use which, in turn, indicates shared knowledge within these contexts. As genericity is seen here from a functional perspective, a distinction will be proposed between textual, syntactic, and morpho-lexical genericity. The outlined theoretical and methodological aspects will be applied in a qualitative, multi-layered analysis of a colonial mass media text.