"Guinea" and the OED

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 3 20:04:46 UTC 2010

Somewhere - Mario Pei, again? - I read that  "dago" was likewise once
applied to those regarded as being of Spanish origin and is supposedly
derived from the name, _Diego_.


On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 1:05 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "Guinea" and the OED
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> It has finally occurred to me to look in the OED.  It does have under
> "Guinea Negro" two quotations using the stand-alone "Guinea": The
> 1823 Cooper _Pioneers_, and from 1861 J. R. LOWELL Biglow P. 2nd Ser.
> i. 183 'Tain't quite hendy to pass off one o' your six-foot
> Guineas.  (If I remember correctly, we haven't found anything earlier
> or much later.)
> But the OED does lack that sense as a definition, whereas it does
> include "1.b. A derogatory term for an immigrant of Italian or
> Spanish origin, or one of similar appearance."
> Joel
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