Origins of vulgar terms
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23-04-2013, 01:31 AM
Origins of vulgar terms
This might be interesting. I was just thinking about some of these terms.

For instance, nigger, the racial slur for people of African descent derives from negro, which itself is derived from the Latin niger meaning the color black.

The terms Kike and Wop originated from immigrant processing at Ellis Island, New York, New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jewish immigrants were marked during processing with a Star of David symbol called a Kikel. Wop is an acronym standing for With Out Papers and refers to various Eastern and southern European immigrants, not just Italians, who arrived without any kind of documentation from their homelands.

The term Spic is derived from the Spanish phrase 'no spica de Ingles' (I don't speak English.).

I've always wondered where the term 'broad' became a slang term for a woman. Anyone knows?

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23-04-2013, 07:50 AM
RE: Origins of vulgar terms
Cracker - too long to post, see spoiler

"Cracker", sometimes "white cracker", is a usually pejorative term for a white person, mainly used in the Southern United States, but in recent decades it has entered common usage throughout North America.

"Cracker" has also been used as a proud or jocular self-description. With the huge influx of new residents from the North, "cracker" is now used informally by some white residents of Florida and Georgia ("Florida cracker" or "Georgia cracker") to indicate that their family has lived there for many generations. However, the term "white cracker" is not always used self-referentially and remains a racist term to many in the region.

There are various theories concerning the origin of the term "cracker".

The term "cracker" was in use during Elizabethan times to describe braggarts. The original root of this is the Middle English word crack1 meaning "entertaining conversation" (One may be said to "crack" a joke); this term and the alternate spelling "craic" are still in use in Ireland and Scotland. It is documented in Shakespeare's King John (1595): "What cracker is this ... that deafes our ears / With this abundance of superfluous breath?"

By the 1760s, this term was in use by the English in the British North American colonies to refer to Scots-Irish settlers in the south. A letter to the Earl of Dartmouth reads: "I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by Crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascalls on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia, who often change their places of abode". A similar usage was that of Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species, to refer to "Virginia squatters" (illegal settlers) (p. 35).

Spaniards in Florida called them “Quáqueros,” a corruption of the English word “Quaker,” which the Spanish used to contemptuously refer to any Protestant.

One theory holds that the word derives from "corncracker", a traditional slang name for poor white people from certain southern states. The 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, notes that "cracker" is a term of contempt for the "poor" or "mean whites," particularly of Georgia and Florida. Britannica notes that this usage of the term dates back to the American Revolution, and is derived from the "cracked corn" which formed their staple food.

Other possible origins of the term "cracker" are linked to early Florida cattle herders (Florida crackers) that traditionally used whips to herd wild Spanish cattle. These cowboys were distinct from the Spanish vaqueros of Florida. The crack of the herders' whips could be heard for great distances when they were used to round cattle in pens and to keep the cows on a given track. Also, "cracker" has historically been used to refer to those engaged in the low paying job of cracking pecans and other nuts in Georgia and throughout the southeast U.S.

One theory claims that the term dates back to slavery in the antebellum South. The popular folk etymology is based on slaver foremen using bullwhips to discipline African and Afro-American slaves, and the sound the whip being described as 'cracking the whip'. The foremen who cracked these whips were thus known as 'crackers'.

According to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, "cracker" is a term of contempt for the "poor" or "mean whites," particularly of Georgia and Florida. Britannica notes that the term dates back to the American Revolution, and is derived from the "cracked corn" which formed their staple food.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_%28word%29

Originally the white slave driver because he would "crack" the whip, hence the noun cracker.

Slang word used to refer to those of European ancestry. The word is thought to have either derived from the sound of a whip being cracked by slave owners, or because crackers are generally white in color.

opposite of nigger, an insult to whites... except white people aren't dumb enough to walk around calling each other that word because it's intended to be demeaning.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cracker

usually disparaging : a poor usually Southern white bcapitalized : a native or resident of Florida or Georgia — used as a nickname.

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?bo...va=cracker

Usage of the term "cracker" generally differs from "hick" and "hillbilly" because crackers reject or resist assimilation into the dominant culture, while hicks and hillbillies theoretically are isolated from the dominant culture. In this way, cracker culture is similar to redneck culture.

The term "cracker" was in use during Elizabethan times to describe braggarts. The original root of this is the Middle English word crack1 meaning "entertaining conversation" (One may be said to "crack" a joke); this term and the alternate spelling "craic" are still in use in Ireland and Scotland. It is documented in Shakespeare's King John (1595): "What cracker is this ... that deafes our ears / With this abundance of superfluous breath?"

By the 1760s, this term was in use by the English in the British North American colonies to refer to Scots-Irish settlers in the south. A letter to the Earl of Dartmouth reads: "I should explain to your Lordship what is meant by Crackers; a name they have got from being great boasters; they are a lawless set of rascalls on the frontiers of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia, who often change their places of abode". A similar usage was that of Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species, to refer to "Virginia squatters" (illegal settlers) (p. 35).

Spaniards in Florida called them “Quáqueros,” a corruption of the English word “Quaker,” which the Spanish used to contemptuously refer to any protestant.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board...s/699.html


Read more: How did the slang term "cracker" come about to mean white people | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/489687#ixzz2RIJZCKDS

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23-04-2013, 07:52 AM
RE: Origins of vulgar terms
Broad - "the sense could have jumped from three card monte to woman. The goal of that game is to pick the queen from among three cards, and broad could have transferred from the card, to the queen, to women."

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/sit...nts/broad/

OR

broad (n.)
"woman," slang, 1911, perhaps suggestive of broad (adj.) hips, but it also might trace to American English abroadwife, word for a woman (often a slave) away from her husband. Earliest use of the slang word suggests immorality or coarse, low-class women. Because of this negative association, and the rise of women's athletics, the track and field broad jump was changed to the long jump c.1967.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=broad

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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23-04-2013, 12:53 PM
RE: Origins of vulgar terms
Interesting thread, Carlo! However, I don't believe the following is accurate regarding "kike":

(23-04-2013 01:31 AM)Carlo_The_Bugsmasher_Driver Wrote:  The terms Kike and Wop originated from immigrant processing at Ellis Island, New York, New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jewish immigrants were marked during processing with a Star of David symbol called a Kikel.

I've never heard the Star of David referred to as a "kikel," which is a Yiddish word for "circle." The Ellis Island story I've known since I was a kid is different. This is Leo Rosten's account, quoted in the Wikipedia article on Kike:

"The word kike was born on Ellis Island when there were Jewish immigrants who were also illiterate (or could not use Latin alphabet letters), when asked to sign the entry-forms with the customary 'X,' refused, because they associated an X with the cross of Christianity, and made a circle in its place. The Yiddish word for 'circle' is kikel (pronounced ky-kul), and for 'little circle,' kikeleh (pronounced ky-kul-uh). Before long the immigration inspectors were calling anyone who signed with an 'O' in place of an 'X' a kikel or kikeleh or kikee or, finally and succinctly, kike."

You have to imagine two Jewish immigrants standing in line to fill out the forms, and when one balks at having to write an X in the signature space, the other says to him, "Mach a kikeleh!" i.e. "Make a little circle!" I guess if the inspectors heard that often enough, they might eventually refer to the Jews as kikes.

Could be apocryphal, but it makes for an interesting story.

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