[Ads-l] New ethnic slur for Pacific Islanders et sim.?

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Mon May 17 16:43:47 EDT 2021


Back when the derogatory term "oreo" was new and circulating, several other
parallel terms were invented.  As an insufficiently militant Black person
was derided as being black outside but white inside, like an Oreo, so an
American Indian with a similar stance would be an apple.  I forget who
"coconut" was to be applied to -- a South Asian, I think.  I don't know
that I ever heard either "apple" or "coconut" used; I saw it in print, but
perhaps only once.

GAT

On Mon, May 17, 2021 at 4:23 PM Martin Purdy <
00000bd8cf391c5b-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:

> "Coconut" on its own is used here in NZ - one of those terms that's OK if
> used self-referentially but is pejorative otherwise.  My neighbour is
> Samoan and introduced himself to me as "a coconut".
> Martin
>
>
>     On Monday, May 17, 2021, 03:00:38 AM GMT+12, dave at wilton.net <
> dave at wilton.net> wrote:
>
>
> Ghelderode's "Don Juan" was written in 1928, so if an earlier edition can
> be found it would significantly antedate this one, which was published
> 1955. But from the context, this one looks like a nonce coinage (plus it's
> in an play mostly written in French). So, it may be unconnected to later
> uses.
>
> Ghelderode, Michel de. "Don Juan." Théâtre IV. Paris: Gallimard, 1955, 37.
> HathiTrust Digital Archive
>
> "You son of a bitch !... You are the right son of the coconut and the
> crocodile !... You have the sugared candour of your mother and the
> voracious instinct of your father !... Why did they not make a bag of your
> beastly skin and why have they not stolen you with your bag !... Your
> n[——]r joy is that of an idiot and if your heart is of coconut give it to
> the monkeys !... Woo... Woo... to the coconut n[——]s !..."
>
> (Elisions are mine)
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Barretts Mail" <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Saturday, May 15, 2021 2:51pm
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] New ethnic slur for Pacific Islanders et sim.?
>
>
>
> Un soir de pitié. Don Juan. Le club des menteurs. Les viellards. marie la
> misérable. Masques ostendais
> By Michel de Ghelderode · 1950
>
> appears to have the term “coconut nigger” but it’s a snippet. I haven’t
> confirmed any of it.
>
> Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>
> > On 15 May 2021, at 11:19, James Eric Lawson <jel at NVENTURE.COM> wrote:
> >
> > In the _Honolulu Star-Bulletin_, Honolulu, Hawaii of 13 Nov 2002, p 43
> > col 5, the "Reel News" feature installment titled "New film gives Oahu a
> > bounce", by Tim Ryan, he observes regarding the filming of the 2004
> > (issued) remake of _The Big Bounce_ (from a novel of the same name by
> > Elmore Leonard),
> >
> > ---
> > And in the category of firsts, Hawaiian activists are called "menehune
> > huggers" and Hawaiians "coconut niggers."
> > ---
> >
> > I didn't find the phrase in the 1983 printing of Leonard's novel.
> >
> > On 5/15/21 12:46 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >> Seen in the comments on Reddit.com:
> >> “Are you Mexican?”
> >> He replied, “No, I’m Hawaiian,”
> >> at which point [the questioner] came back with,
> >> “Ohhhhh, you’re one of them _coconut niggers_!”
> >>
> >
> > --
> > James Eric Lawson
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society -
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=v2Wtu7DQZxSBMSJv-oEMNg&m=4bVrZ78-2PHg08XJCKeFYU7kt-RO5jTqrHPhs80sT6w&s=U9ITKLK2ioyHv8SUt3hzw_G7kaVw7UHAlvXp9EFfRII&e=
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=v2Wtu7DQZxSBMSJv-oEMNg&m=4bVrZ78-2PHg08XJCKeFYU7kt-RO5jTqrHPhs80sT6w&s=U9ITKLK2ioyHv8SUt3hzw_G7kaVw7UHAlvXp9EFfRII&e=
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=v2Wtu7DQZxSBMSJv-oEMNg&m=4bVrZ78-2PHg08XJCKeFYU7kt-RO5jTqrHPhs80sT6w&s=U9ITKLK2ioyHv8SUt3hzw_G7kaVw7UHAlvXp9EFfRII&e=
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=DwIFaQ&c=slrrB7dE8n7gBJbeO0g-IQ&r=v2Wtu7DQZxSBMSJv-oEMNg&m=4bVrZ78-2PHg08XJCKeFYU7kt-RO5jTqrHPhs80sT6w&s=U9ITKLK2ioyHv8SUt3hzw_G7kaVw7UHAlvXp9EFfRII&e=
>


-- 
George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

But when aroused at the Trump of Doom / Ye shall start, bold kings, from
your lowly tomb. . .
L. H. Sigourney, "Burial of Mazeen", Poems.  Boston, 1827, p. 112

The Trump of Doom -- also known as The Dunghill Toadstool.  (Here's a
picture of his great-grandfather.)
http://www.parliament.uk/worksofart/artwork/james-gillray/an-excrescence---a-fungus-alias-a-toadstool-upon-a-dunghill/3851

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