An unexpected occurrence of an ethnic slur

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 23 19:33:03 UTC 2008

In the song, "Garlic Blues," Helen Humes sings that her garlic-loving
boyfriend is

"... just like a _dago_ ..."

AFAIK, this is unique in black music. Well, there is the use of
"monkey-man" for a West Indian. But this is the only case that I know
of in which a slur against a white ethnic group occurs.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
 -Sam'l Clemens

The American Dialect Society -

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