"wore black, or eat green" in 1657 Barbados

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Sep 12 18:32:00 UTC 2008

A (long-) 18th-century maven wrote:
>This is a sort of crossword puzzler's hypothesis rather than an
>informed judgment about what's going on here -- it slightly adjusts
>theories contributed so far. I suspect that there's a kind of sly
>double barreled joke, in that wearing black clothes and eating
>greens rather than meat might be attributes of a simple pious
>Christian European man -- but here Sambo wears black because he is
>black and eats greens because he has no choice of diet.  . . . Sort
>of like saying you know how much a fish weighs because it has scales.

I responded that I think a double meaning is quite possible, and that
further reading might reveal Ligon displaying other double meanings.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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