The Lady [Team Nicknames]

Wilson Gray hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET
Sun May 30 01:51:34 UTC 2004

Michael James, via Arnold Zwicky, writes:

>> As a side note: If you'd be willing to weigh in about recent naming
>> controversies - such as teams with Indian-related names, or women's
>> college teams retaining the masculine team names of the college with
>> the word "lady" appended to the front - I'd love to hear about that
>> too.

Prefixing the "Lady" to a man's name in order to make it into a woman's
name has been customary among Southern blacks for at least the past
century. I myself, a native of East Texas, have a cousin, Lady Percy,
the first-born child of my cousin, Percy. This naming system was
introduced to the nation as a whole when, in 1982, the women's
basketball team of Louisiana Tech [sic] University won the NCAA
Division I basketball championship. The nickname of the university's
teams is the "Techsters." Therefore, the women's basketball team,
dominated by black women, called itself the "_Lady_ Techsters,"
following the usual black custom. White America, as is so often the
case, looked upon this black them and found it hip.
-Wilson Gray

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