Bullshit from the UD

Christopher Philippo toff at MAC.COM
Mon Aug 25 13:57:19 UTC 2014

On Aug 25, 2014, at 02:09 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
Old-timers will recall my noting the use of *reggin" as a pswaydo-cover for "nigger" in the BE slang of 1957 Los Angeles.
Cassell's Dictionary of Slang (2005) began its entry with "[1950s+] (US prison)" but offered no evidence for the 1950s or prison usage.  It also claimed, dubiously, "there are no racist overtones".  Hopefully nobody's been so foolish as to rely on that:

"In August 2007, the Commission settled for $44,000 a lawsuit against a California medical clinic, alleging that a White supervisor used racial code words, such as 'reggin' ('nigger' spelled backwards), to debase and intimidate an African American file clerk and then fired her after she complained. The clinic also agreed to incorporate a zero-tolerance policy concerning discriminatory harassment and retaliation into its internal EEO and anti-harassment policies. EEOC v. Robert G. Aptekar, M.D., d/b/a Arthritis & Orthopedic Medical Clinic, Civ. No. C06-4808 MHP (N.D. Cal. consent decree filed Aug. 20, 2007)."

There's a number of hits on Google books, and the word also shows up in pseudo-African American dialect in jokes and fiction to render "reckon"... possibly(?) the authors of such pieces had considered what it was backwards, e.g. see column four: http://fultonhistory.com/Newspapers%2021/Saint%20Paris%20OH%20Era%20Dispatch/Saint%20Paris%20OH%20Era%20Dispatch%201882-1887/Saint%20Paris%20OH%20Era%20Dispatch%201882-1887%20-%200648.pdf
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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