[Ads-l] "wyte" as perjorative spelling for "white"

Ann Burlingham ann at BURLINGHAMBOOKS.COM
Tue Feb 9 01:56:09 EST 2021


On Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 6:08 AM Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at gmail.com>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Stanton McCandlish <smccandlish at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "wyte" as perjorative spelling for "white"
>
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>
> WELL, all that drama aside, I for one am curious when this arrived and
> whether it's just another "weird Internet spelling" silliness like "teh
> interwebs"; or if it's a hip-hop culture word-play with a unique meaning,
> like "thicc" and "phat" and "def"; or if it's actually a leftist-discourse
> neologistic usage like "woke" and "karen"; or more narrowly a BLM-specific
> usage with or without a narrow implication; or some mixture of these. It
> goes back to at least early 2018 in the general sense reported here.  The
> *y* in it faintly reminds me of "womyn" and some other left-wing jargon,
> but that could easily just be blind coincidence.  I'm skeptical of the OP's
> idea that it has to do with avoiding positive cultural associations of the
> word "white", or it would likely coincide with a spelling shift of "Black"
> in the same material as well ("Blak"? "Blacc?") which isn't in evidence.
>
>
In my experience I see it in writing by Black women in order to try to
avoid Facebook or Twitter jail, as they find their posts about white people
get tagged as "racist".

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