Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue Sep 18 14:03:49 UTC 2007

Could some ESA (ethic slur avoidance) be going on here? I have seen
younger people look nervous at uses of 'jig' even when it clearly
refers to a dance.

While on ESA's, the local (but expanding) East Lansing coffee outfit
"Beaner's" has decided to become "Biggbys" (since it logo is a "Big
B"). They want to avoid the slur of Hispanics (principally Mexicans
and Mexican-Americans), and the change seems preemptive rather than

I'm not sure how they will avoid the stress pattern implied by
"Biggby" (with weak stress on the last syllable) when they obviously
want their new name to recall the logo, but wadn't no linguists


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Laurence Urdang <urdang at SBCGLOBAL.NET>
>Subject:      jig/gig
>What I would qualify for inclusion in the burgeoning list of
>Fractured Idioms is the recently heard, "the gig is up."
>   "The jig is up" has cites going back to the 18th century, but it
>must be admitted that today, "the gig is up" has more meaning to
>those familiar with the entertainment business.  Danse macabre there
>   L. Urdang
>   Old Lyme
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

It should be the chief aim of a university professor to exhibit
himself [sic] in his own true character - that is, as an ignorant man
thinking, actively utilizing his small share of knowledge. Alfred
North Whitehead

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1036 USA
Office: (517) 353-4736
Fax: (517) 353-3755

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list