"slang" (1746); favorable insults

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 24 20:39:54 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 3:04 PM, Jonathan
Lighter<wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com> quoted:

"... splices like a son of a b----h ..."

surprisingly commenting only upon the phrase, "son of a bitch,"
overlooking this early example of

"... _VERB like a_ son of a bitch ..."

Anecdote. Ca.1963, my mother told me that a white woman-friend of hers
had told her that, whereas white men use "son of a bitch," black men
use "motherfucker" and asked me whether this assertion was indeed
factual. (Mom does not associate with members of the lower orders of
*any* race.) I assured her that, yes, indeed, was most certainly the

Now, all we need is an early print example of, e.g. a black sailor
saying, "... splices like a motherfucker ...,"
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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