"call a spade a spade"

Doug Harris cats22 at FRONTIERNET.NET
Wed Jun 18 02:22:29 UTC 2008

Though seldom heard much anymore, as someone else noted, the
term 'spade' was a very derogatory way of referring to people
we now call 'African Americans -- to the displeasure of some,
(Wilson included,) I hasten to add.
Benjamin Barrett asked:
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

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

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