Eeny Meeny Miny Moe

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sat Jan 29 17:23:25 UTC 2005

 The substitution of "tiger" for "nigger" in eeny-meeny came long after my
childhood.  While we were forbidden to use "nigger" in general, that is, in
expressions such as "nigger toes" for Brazil nuts or "niggerheads" for
coneflowers, or "nigger in the woodpile" for the obscure bad factor, I
don't remember that eeny-meeny was out-of-bounds.  I think this was because
our parents made a distinction between culturally-embedded usage and
voluntary use.  They would look askance at bowdlerization, but would avoid
the incivility of gratuitous insult. Blackface was instrinsically bad, so_
Amos & Andy_  was out, nevermind that it was a staple in black households
with radios. We employed a black daily maid, but, oddly, this was a mark of
liberal enlightenment in that place & time: all the other households on the
street had white maids only.
Sorry, I seem to be wandering off the track here.
A. Murie

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