Fwd: Re: Fwd: Ameliorated words of offensive origin

Sonja L. Lanehart lanehart at ARCHES.UGA.EDU
Thu Mar 1 01:09:34 UTC 2001

This message was sent to me by one of my graduate students who is
responding to one of the e-mails from ADS I forwarded to my graduate
history of the English language class.  --SL

---------Included Message----------
>Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 16:21:08 -0500 (EST)
>From: "Martin Rogers" <martyr at arches.uga.edu>
>To: "Sonja L. Lanehart" <lanehart at arches.uga.edu>
>Subject: Re: Fwd: Ameliorated words of offensive origin
>i think an intersting ameliorization is "paddy wagon" for a police van;
>am pretty sure that the word comes from "patty" wagon and that patty
was a
>derogatory word for an irishman, b/c of the name Patrick.  the wagon,
>was sent to pick up
>irishmen who were presumably drunk, or fighting, or generally making
>themselves a nuisance.
>i also think a word that started out innocuous is "kike" or kyke" as
>anti-semitic comment; as i heard, there was a system of symbols that
>chalked onto incoming immigrants on ellis island, and a circle was
>on the garment of a mentally disabled person. The yiddish word for
>is soemthing like "kykele", and yiddish iummigrants began teasing each
>other with the name "circle" to indicate the person was slow or
>unintelligent- the yiddish was shortened to "kyke" and the word was
>subverted by outsiders; that is non-jewish people. hence the
>martin rogers  engl 6000
---------End of Included Message----------

Sonja L. Lanehart               lanehart at arches.uga.edu Department of
English         office: 706-542-2260            Park Hall                               ENGL dept: 706-542-1261
Athens, GA 30602-6205           fax: 706-542-2181

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