"spade" as ONLY a racial slur?

ronbutters at AOL.COM ronbutters at AOL.COM
Thu Jun 19 13:16:29 UTC 2008

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."

I suppose this might be true for a few people who know only the word "shovel," and think of "spadework" as railroad portering and other stereotypical jobs from the twentieth century. (Would they believe that Sam Spade was an African-American detective?) Even so, this would only be true of those who had never seen a deck of cards.
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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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