one-drop rule

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Dec 1 13:29:57 UTC 2010

On Wed, Dec 01, 2010 at 01:02:03PM +0100, Paul Frank wrote:
> The first OED quotation for the "one-drop rule" ("U.S. Now chiefly
> hist. attrib. Designating an ideology in which a person is regarded as
> black if he or she has even the smallest degree of black African
> ancestry) is from 1976, which is surprising. This is from January 1837
> (especially page 186, which speaks of "our own theory of the 'one
> drop' "):
> <>

Thanks. This is useful, esp. for the way in which it regards
"one drop" as a specific concept. Still, I do need to point
out that the OED's etymology does quote another 1837 source
for the concept, using the expression "one drop".

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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