It is a term which is used very loosely, and can refer to someone from the vast majority of the south, west and east Slavic countries.
I don't know about the average person, but for me the image conjured up is not this one:
Police have now issued an image of a man they are hunting after a sexual assault on a teenage girl in an Ashford alleyway.This individual is Turkish, Albanian or, dare I say it, "Asian."
A man had started talking to a 15-year-old in an alley off Godfrey Walk. He then started kissing her.
She got away and ran to a friend's house.
The suspect is described as Eastern European, in his late 30s, skinny and about 6ft 2in tall.
He had a moustache and stubble, black short hair and was wearing a black hooded top and blue jeans.
Anyone with information about the incident - which happened at 7.45pm on Saturday, January 23 - is urged to contact police on 01303 289180.
Being Kent, he is likely a Kosovar Albanian or a Romanian gypsy, if indeed the use of the term "Eastern European" is not completely erroneous.
I have met and indeed I now teach large numbers of "Eastern Europeans" from Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic and Croatia, and not one of them looks anything like this.