[Ads-l] D. Wepman

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jun 6 13:53:16 UTC 2015

On Sat, Jun 6, 2015 at 3:31 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>

> D. Wepman

The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English
 edited by Tom Dalzell
shade noun
1 a black person US 1865
   Offensive [?!]
       In no time at all Konky got on the ball / And had ten whorers [sic]
- nine pinks and a shade. - Dennis Wepman et al. _The Life_, p.102, 1976
        "I reckon this is down to the Brown Brothers, don't you?" "Who?"
"The Shades" I have noticed before that you have to be very current to keep
up with young London coppers' slang. - John Milne. _Alive and Kicking_,
p.92, 1998

3 a white person US, 1972
[no example]

Both "fade" and "shade" have been alive and kicking in my lexicon since
about 1948. IMO and in my usage, neither of these terms is any more
"offensive" than "black" and "white." IN fact, I find the fact that the
words are a rhyming pair, as it were, kinda cute, so to speak. I can't
imagine how anyone can randomly decide that one is "offensive," even if
white folk have been referring to us colored folk as "shades" behind our
backs since 1865, but the other is neutral.

As is so often the case, IME, these terms are/were(?) not in circulation
outside of St. Louis. In Los Angeles, I had to explain what I meant. Even
my ace boon was confused: "... 'fabe,' as you would say ...," though you'd
think that the fact that the words rhyme would preclude any such mishearing
and concomitant confusion. But, of course,


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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