Heard on Springer: "_Head bitch in charge_"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 20 20:55:15 UTC 2009


"W" = what's," "C"= Chief.


On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 3:05 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Heard on Springer: "_Head bitch in charge_"
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> Spoken by twenty-ish, white woman:
> "*I'm* the _head bitch in charge_ [of stripping] and [other strippers]
> should respect that!"
> This appears to be an obvious modification of the old
> "Head _nigger_ in charge"
> Back in the day, a half-century a more ago, this phrase was used in BE
> only ironically and only of *others*. Leroy (his real name) was the
> maitre d' of the Jewish country club ("white" CC's didn't use colored
> people) in Los Angeles. It was said of Leroy that, though he was chief
> of service human resources, nevertheless, "he didn't straighten up" -
> he displayed only servile body language - during the whole time that
> he was at work. He was a for-real "head nigger in charge."
> No one would say that of himself without making it *very* clear that
> he was being facetious. It was also the case that the term was usually
> spoken as "HNIC."
> Back During The War, before the invention of the vastly more sanitary
> trash bag/garbage bag, in Saint Louis, there were only "garbage cans,"
> which were the very same thing as the military's "shit cans," though
> they were sometimes smaller. White men drove the trucks. Black men
> handled the garbage. Needless to say, unlike the military shit cans,
> which were emptied and cleaned *at least* once a day, garbage cans
> were never cleaned and were used until the bottom had rusted
> completely out. Only black garbage men emptied them, a dirty, filthy,
> stinking job. The HNIC of the garbage men would never even speak of
> his job, let alone announce it publicly as worthy of respect, even
> though, of course, it was. But it was truly disgusting - a garbage
> truck could be smelled from blocks away. Hence, it was a "nigger" job.
> No white man, no matter how desperate, would even been allowed by the
> local civil service to apply for it.
> Oddly, it was "head nigger on duty"/"HNOD" that was used in Saint
> Louis. I didn't come across "HNIC" until after I had moved away. And,
> of course, elsewhere, no one had ever heard "HNOD."
> IAC, I was startled to hear the very similar phase spoken both in
> public and with pride. But, as I've noted before, black slang tends to
> become meliorated, once that it jumps the color bar. And, of course,
> Springer's is a "reality" show, not real life. If his "guests" weren't
> odd in some way, he'd be out of business.
> -Wilson
> –––
> 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.
> –Mark Twain
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