"Little" xxxx. From early R&B to Rap.

Margaret Lee mlee303 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Mar 10 10:01:57 UTC 2003

> Why would the appellation "Little or Lil' " be very common in Black
> English?
> Because the performers started at a very young age and were truly

That, plus in many instances in the African American community,
especially for males, "big" and "little" were/are used to distinguish
the father from the son with the same name-- Big Joe and Little Joe.

--- Sam Clements <sclements at NEO.RR.COM> wrote:
> While waiting for my son today, I was listening to "the oldies."
> And heard
> a familiar song by Little Anthony and the Imperials.  And then I
> thought of
> Little Richard.
> And then I thought about my son's devotion to Rap and Hip Hop, with
> more
> singers than you can shake your booty at who have the name "Little"
> before
> their given name.  There's Little Wayne.  Lil' Romeo,  Lil' Kim,
> and many
> others.
> So I got out my Billboard top 40, and discovered Little
> Caesar(1961), Little
> Eva(1962), Little Joe(1957), Little Joey(1962), Little
> Milton(1965).  Most
> are listed as R&B("Black") singers.  I don't know how many were
> Afro-American, but that is the question I pose.

Margaret G. Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor - English and Linguistics
 & University Editor
Department of English
Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668
e-mail: margaret.lee at hamptonu.edu   or   mlee303 at yahoo.com

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