[Ads-l] big apple (UNCLASSIFIED)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Feb 17 21:30:31 UTC 2020

> On Feb 17, 2020, at 3:18 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> On 17 Feb 2020, at 07:31, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
>>> On Feb 17, 2020, at 3:37 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>> That's true. BTW, are people familiar with the Chan sisters, Meg and
>>> Jennifer? They use their mother's maiden name, Tilly, as their nom du film.
>>> There are many Websites devoted to the revelation of the "polluted"
>>> ancestry of more-or-less public figures. You'd think that such Web pages
>>> would be managed by the KKK. But, in fact, they're run by
>>> couldn't-possibly-be-mistaken-for-white members of the relevant "race," who
>>> have heartily embraced the one-drop rule. (More cultural appropriation!
>>> Won't *nobody* let colored people have *nothing*, just for them!)
>>> Oddly, some racist sites claim that the one-drop rule is a black thang,
>>> thought up for the purpose of claiming more-or-less important, more-or-less
>>> non-black people, e.g.  Barack Obama, Frederick Douglass, Booker T.
>>> Washington, Lena Horne, Thurgood Marshall, Cab Calloway, Mariah Carey,
>>> Malcolm X, Muhammed Ali, Johnny Mathis, etc. as "black." However, the
>>> one-drop rule is a logical extension of the law, originally promulgated in
>>> the Virginia Colony, that, if the mother is a slave, then the child is a
>>> slave, regardless of the social and/or the racial status of the father: if
>>> an ancestor was black, then the descendant is black.
>> cf. the promulgation of “quadroon” and “octoroon”.  If there’s no finer-grained term I assume it's because those making the rules didn’t know the Latin for 1/16. 
>> LH  
> My recollection is that someone sat down and came up with words for every fraction up to 256ths—not just 1/8ths, but 3/16ths, 5/16ths, etc. I have searched a bit and can’t find any reference to it.
> At least hexadecaroon/mustefino/quintroon were in use.

Well, in some use.  But the wildly popular 19th century melodrama_The Octoroon_ (I remember seeing a copy on my parents’ bookshelves), which was set in the Deep South and was, according to one website, "the story of doomed love [with] all the elements of a good melodrama; murder, threatened poverty, a thwarted love affair and a suicide, or if playing to a London audience, a happy ending", and which was itself adapted from an earlier play _The Quadroon_, predictably lacks any sequel entitled _The Hexadecaroon_.
> http://www.mixedracestudies.org/?p=1146 <http://www.mixedracestudies.org/?p=1146> has a few more.
> This sort of word would still be useful for Native American blood quantum rules (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_quantum_laws#Implementation <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_quantum_laws#Implementation>) but AFAIK the fractions, not the words, are used.
> Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list