Fwd: origin of word picnic
self at TOWSE.COM
Mon Dec 23 23:00:57 UTC 2002
"James A. Landau" wrote:
> In a message dated 12/23/2002 5:14:10 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG writes:
> > One of the rather more offensive folk etymologies needs a bit of
> > debunking. Would some please respond to this claim in full "actually,
> > no" mode? Directly to the original sender, if you would.
> > Début du message réexpédié :
> > > De: "Greg Maccarone" <gamsky at sbcglobal.net>
> > > Date: Mon 23 Dec 2002 13:18:43 America/New_York
> > > Objet: origin of word picnic
> > >
> > > My daughter (in 12th grade) discussed the origin of the word "picnic"
> > > with me. To my surprise, a classmate told her it meant "pic a
> > > igger". Supposedly, a group of people would meet to eat, and then
> > > select a person of African descent to be hung from a tree.
> > >
> > > I am shocked that this information is out there without any check for
> > > accuracy. Please help. What do you recommend? Thanks
> Here is something from ADS-L that may be relevant:
> Subj: Re: nitty-gritty: racist term?
> Date: 05/15/2002 3:08:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time
> From: laurence.horn at YALE.EDU (Laurence Horn)
> >>... UK police are not allowed to use the term 'nitty gritty' because it
> >>allegedly originally meant the waste at the bottom of a slave ship once
> >>the slaves were taken off.
> >Another silly baseless etymythology, I think.
> >Before further examination of this expression's amazing 250-year
> >politically-charged history, let's see a single citation from before 1950.
> Indeed. Here's a clip from Michael Quinion's column (see URL below).
> Of course this was before we'd been able to file it under etymythology ;-)
> World Wide Words -- 4 Nov 00
I sent Greg Maccarone a link to Michael Quinion's column that
specifically debunks the origin given for "picnic":
3K+ useful links for writers, researchers and the terminally
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