ho 'whore' (What Santa Claus might say in some dialects?)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 8 23:50:50 UTC 2013

On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 12:21 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:

> I could hardly believe that the etymology of "ho" has become opaque so
> quickly!

I can believe it. But, of course, I can't *document* it. (Lest such
documentation induce cardiac arrest throughout the list, of course.)
Because early writings by whites about hip-hop and rap took the virgin (a
beautiful expression of their culture)-whore (a disgusting expression of
their "culture") approach, I didn't waste my time reading much of it.
However, a Boston Globe columnist caught my eye when (s)he spoke of rappers
referring to women as garden[ing?] tools. There was nothing in the column
to suggest that the writer was being anything but literal in his/her
interpretation of what (s)he spelled as "hoe."

A relatively-casual approach to googling for support of this scenario
trended toward  Charlie's it's-happening-now and was neutral WRT my

But, after all, why should anyone expect random white people to have
in-depth knowledge of the various representations of the phonetics of BE in
print, when boojies don't have it? EBONY has never spelled "funky" as
"fonkey" or "donkey" as "dunky," though it has spelled "hunky" as "honkey."

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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