Saturday, May 11, 2013

obscure words part 6

 The Southern plantations/slaves had their own ''word culture'' as did the greater society. Many of these words were ugly and insulting yet were used regularly without a second thought, even by the slaves and free Blacks themselves. I think it's important to have a ready supply of ugly and insulting words to use against an oppressed group, and then get them to use those words themselves, if you want to brake their self- image and boost your own. Words are alive, electromagnetic and powerful. There affect on ones body, mind and spirit are subtle but long lasting. Most of these words are know today but little used, thank goodness! An example would be aunty, boy, coon, darky,  mammy, uncle[tom], pickaninney, sambo and wench. Here are some lesser known words.
          1. Buck, buck nigger : common slang for a young black male.
            A. I saw your buck[nigger] sleeping in the woods this afternoon.
          2. Buckra : a white man, literally a demon or powerful being.
            A. A buckra on horseback came to call on the missus today outside the big house.
          3. Cuffy, cuffee : common appellation for a Negro/Negroes.
            A. That free cuffy up the road chops my wood and bakes bread for me when I need help.
          4. Doughface : a Northerner who supported slavery.
            A.  I wouldn't trust a doughface if they were my own mom and papa.
          5. Maroon : a run-away slave[s] in hiding.
            A. Some whites will hide and feed a maroon no matter what the risk.
            B.  They found a camp of maroons hiding out in the swamp.
          6. Negroism :  to favor or support Blacks.
            A. They say some Southerners work for the cause of negroism in secret.
          7. Negrophilism : fondness for Blacks.
            A. The way he fraternizes with them darkies I'd say he's got a case of negrophilism.
    Although I am both Black and Gay myself, I personally am not easily upset by derogatory or insulting words when I hear them. I guess I just have a thick skin, but some people do feel insulted. I think their feelings should be respected. As a writer I do use derogatory, insulting and ugly words in dialogue, if necessary, because people did talk that way. Dialogue has to feel authentic and real to the reader. So, I write whatever fits without batting an eyelash!


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