"call a spade a spade"

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Jun 18 01:54:25 UTC 2008

What exactly does the racial connotation term mean? From this thread,
it appears to be the most common meaning in US English, but I'm not
sure what it would mean or how it could be used that way. I'm familiar
only with the meaning of not using euphemisms or circumlocutions for
something bad. BB

On Jun 16, 2008, at 4:39 AM, Charles Doyle wrote:

> For some speakers of American English (by no means all of them), the
> word "spade" has lost all applications except for use as a
> derogatory racial designation.
> On the reanalysis of the proverbial phrase "call a spade a spade,"
> one might consult Wolfgang Mieder's monograph _Call a Spade a Spade:
> From Classical Phrase to Racial Slur_ (NY: Peter Lang, 2002).
> --Charlie
> _____________________________________________________________
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2008 00:02:08 -0400
>> From: Doug Harris <cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET>
> The Same Dowd piece, datelined Paris, also included this:
>> 'Angela Merkel dodged when asked at a press conference whether she
>> would miss W., but said she liked being able to "call a spade a
>> spade with him."'
>> Twas that a fox paw, an indication of a lack of familiarity with
>> American vernacular, or merely a hopefully-NOT noteworthy phrase?
>> dh
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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