another old-timey (double-)ethnic slur

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Dec 15 01:54:44 UTC 2010

At 12/14/2010 08:21 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 4:49 PM -0500 12/14/10, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>I'm confident Larry will find not a few additional anti-Jewish slurs
>>in Sayers.  And various other English mystery writers of various periods.
>Indeed; there's even a Google Book I was glancing at on the topic,
>_Victims or Villains: Jewish Images in Classic English Detective
>Fictions_ by Malcolm Turnbull, that touches on Agatha Christie,
>Dorothy L. Sayers, and many more.

I'll have to look at this, particularly since I favor British
mysteries of their period.  I see it is dated 1998, so it can't be
the source of my sister-in-law's knowledge three or four decades ago.

>The slurs and negative
>characterizations in Sayers (not just of Jews, a.k.a. Semitic types,
>Hebrews, et al., are in fact not uncommon, along with various equally
>casual "nigger"s and "dago"s), but this is the only double-barreled
>slur of this type that I've come across.  Most of the characters so
>portrayed turn out to be innocent of the crimes and misdemeanors

Of course not!  We Semites are a much-maligned people.

>the mostly but not universally prejudiced characters (Lord Peter
>himself appears to be quite fair-minded)

My impression also.  He probably was appalled by the comment in question.


>assume them automatically to
>be guilty of.
>>At 12/14/2010 02:27 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>>I'm familiar with the stereotypes of stinginess traditionally
>>>associated with both Scots and Jews, but this casual remark still
>>>took me slightly aback in its combo effect:
>>>"She's got a stack of money and the meanness of fifty thousand Scotch
>>>Jews rolled into one."
>>>--Dorothy L. Sayers, _The Nine Tailors_ (1934)
>>>The American Dialect Society -
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list