McWhorter on "Negro" [Was: on "Negro English"] (UNCLASSIFIED)

Russ McClay mcclay at TAOLODGE.COM
Thu Jan 21 17:38:40 UTC 2010

On the term "darky", darkie.

20-something years ago when I first moved to Taiwan the
ubiquitous toothpaste was (and still is) Darkie Toothpaste.

The brand features a black man in a top hat.

In Chinese the brand is: Hei Jen Ya Gao (Black man tooth paste).

Around 1985 Colgate-Palmolive bought the brand and changed the
name to Darlie.  Exact same packaging.

The word Darkie had none of the baggage for the Taiwanese that
it apparently had for the new brand owners, who didn't live in

I still think it was a very clever brand name change.

Change the K to an L.

Darlie Toothpaste


The American Dialect Society -

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