[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>

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> 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".

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

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