Pied noir: an American connection? or maybe not...

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 18 16:49:07 UTC 2010

At 10:30 AM -0600 1/18/10, Jim Parish wrote:
>Laurence Horn wrote:
>>  At 10:59 AM -0500 1/18/10, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>  >Is "reclamation" a very recent phenomenon? Offhand, I can't think of
>>  >anything before "black" (ca1969).
>>  >
>>  >
>>  >JL
>>  I think in political and religious contexts it's
>>  been around for awhile, for example for some of
>>  those -ers we were talking about (Quaker, Shaker)
>>  and their relatives.  And didn't "Whig" and
>>  "Tory" start out as insults? I'm not sure this is
>>  the same phenomenon, but it's close.
>More recent than these examples, but my understanding is that "suffragette"
>began as an insult (they preferred to be called "suffragists").
>Jim Parish

Was "suffragette" ever embraced by its adherents?  Or is it more like
"women's libber", which was never reclaimed.

There are also the -ites for those who at least initially preferred
-ists, as in "Trotskyite".  Again, I'm not sure if these were
reclaimed or just used so widely that the adherents had no choice.
(I'm excluding nonce exclamations along the lines of "Yes, I'm a(n)
____, and proud of it!")

Let's see what happens to "tea-bagger".


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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