use of "sunshine" as a racial slur against blacks

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Mar 3 00:44:08 UTC 2009

> Does anyone have any information as to the origins of or current usage of
> "sunshine" being used in speech today in a derrogatory way as a racial slur
> against blacks/African-Americans?

I've never heard of anything like that. In my experience it's a
meaningless (at least to me) very informal salutation which could be
directed by anyone to anyone else who's on sufficiently casual terms. I
can't remember who's used this in my hearing but I don't think it's been
correlated with race.

My informant who studies at the local high school has a similar
impression: a few people occasionally use this salutation, without any
known meaning or evident restriction.

Cassell's slang dictionary says "a general form of address".

Even Urbandictionary doesn't show a racial-slur meaning for "sunshine"

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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