Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 14 08:15:05 UTC 2001

>The source of the sensitivity is the expression "black as the ace of
>spades," which I've
>heard as a reference to very dark African American skin color.  It
>can also be used, e.g.,
>for a black car or a totally dark night.  The ace has a higher value
>than a club, and I
>suppose this explains the choice.  Archie Bunker may have
>contributed to the suppression
>of the expression in general use, but it is certainly familiar to
>people who've entered
>the 8th decade of life.

Or the 6th decade, even.  But what means "The ace has a higher value
than a club"?  One of the terms of comparison must be a typo, but I'm
not sure which, or (if it's the "ace" that should be "spade") in what
context.  I thought it might be the size of the very large spade in
the center of the Ace of Spades card, typically used as a sort of
trademark for the deck, that renders that particular card salient as
a token of blackness.


More information about the Ads-l mailing list