Big Dick and Little Dick

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Mon Mar 10 16:42:01 UTC 2003

In a message dated 3/10/03 5:02:11 AM, mlee303 at YAHOO.COM writes:

> > 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
> "little?"
> 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.

Was Little Orphan Annie Black? Little Mary Sunshine? Little Bo-Peep? I don't
think so. The use of "little" has been around in the culture forever--it is
not a particularly African-American thing.

My own exceedingly white father gave a good deal of thought to naming me
Richard, Jr. But my mother overruled him because everybody called him "Dick"
and she was afraid that the family would then begin calling me "Little Dick"
and scar me psychologically forever. Perhaps some such explanation lies
behind the performer Little Richard's weirdness.

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