use of "sunshine" as a racial slur against blacks

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Tue Mar 3 01:33:12 UTC 2009

At 3/2/2009 08:10 PM, Sam Clements wrote:
>The use of 'shine' as a derogatory appelation for a Black would almost
>certainly come from 'sunshine.'  At least, that was always my guess.
>Any examples of how long 'shine' has been used that way?

The OED has
5. An abusive term for a Black. Also attrib. U.S. slang.
1908 J. M. SULLIVAN Criminal Slang 24 Shine, a colored person. 1929
D. HAMMETT Dain Curse iv. 34 How'd you make out with the shine? 1934
J. T. FARRELL Young Manhood III. xv. 227 They saw one beautiful
blonde girl with a coal-black, sweating nigger, and they said
nothing, only because there were too many shines in the place. 1940
R. CHANDLER Farewell, My Lovely iii. 13 His voice said bitterly:
'Shines. Another shine killing. That's what I rate after eighteen
years in this man's police department.' 1953 W. BURROUGHS Junkie v.
51 A Negro sitting opposite us smiled. 'The shine is wise,' said Roy
in my ear. 'He is O.K.' 1969 S. GREENLEE Spook who sat by Door xiii.
116 He's a shine detective lieutenant.


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