[Ads-l] The NY Times prints "nigger" ...

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Wed Sep 14 20:16:43 EDT 2016


In HDAS, you finger O. Henry (d. 1910) for "kike" [lateish use -- your earliest
example is 1888, with the O.H. cite from 1905] --any chance he used "wop" as
well?  He certainly dealt with the characters, even if he didn't use the word.
 I'm thinking of one particular story which turns on the idea that wops use
knives, whereas Upstanding American Boys use their fists [and hey, that
particular spin could, before and outside America, go back to Walter Scott's
"The Two Drovers", where the wop figure is a teuchter {though that Highly
Offensive Racially Coded Term isn't, I think, used by Scott himself} and the UAB
is an Englishman].

But with 220 stories (at least), I'm reluctant to revisit O. Henry just to find
out.  Took me enough trouble years ago, pre-google, to track down the Cisco Kid.

[For anyone who's interested, he first appears in "The Caballero's Way" and
there, he ain't nothing like his later televisual reincarnation as the Robin
Hood of the Old West.  Well, in one sense he is, if you go back to the versions
of the Merry Outlaw of Sherwood Forest as written in the early seventeenth
century, before he was ameliorated by the Romantics.]



>     On 15 September 2016 at 00:29 Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
>     1. A stupid or worthless person. Obs.
>     1908 Kenneth McGaffey _The Sorrows of a Show Girl_ (Chicago: J. I. Austen)
>     17: Some old pappy guy out in Chi.... I don't know who or what this old
>     wop is that made this crack.
>     2. An Italian.
>     1912 Rex Beach _The Net_ (N.Y.: Harper) 154: Do you see that...wop next to
>     Cesar Maruffi?
>     1913 _Saturday Eve. Post_ (March 25) 10: He had eaten...a banana snatched
>     from the stand of a somnolent "wop."
>     [Etc.]
>     (Also, any person of Southern or Central European descent; the Italian
>     language.)
>     JL
>     On Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 5:16 PM, Joel Berson <berson at att.net> wrote:
>     > and "wetback" and "chink" also. Today, in "A [Racially ] Charged Title.
>     > A

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list