Kamis, 06 Oktober 2011

Like white on rice


Honky . . . a favorite word used by George Jefferson in the70’s sitcom.  Mr. Jefferson was moving onup to the east side; to a de-luxe apartment in the sky who finally got a pieceof the pie.

Honky . . . a word used by blacks to refer to whites.  It’s not particularly harsh sounding consideringit’s a racial slur . . . it’s actually a funny word. 

The origin of this word could be a twist on words from thenative language of two distinct groups . . . one from immigrants, the other fromslaves.

Honky may be a variation of hunky, which was a variant ofBohunk, This was a derogatory term for Bohemian, Hungarian, and Polishimmigrants that in the early 1900’s.  According to a couple of sources, black factoryworkers picked up the term from white workers and began applying itindiscriminately to all white folks and it caught on.

Honky may also have derived from the African term "xonqnopp" (the ‘x’ is pronounced as an ‘h’) which literally means "whiteperson". The term may have originated with Wolof-speaking slaves broughtto the US.


Maybe because it’s more colorful, I’m going with that theword honky dates back to the 1920’s.  Supposedly,the word came about because of the practice of white men who would venture intothe red light districts seeking to pick of African-American prostitutes.  Those parts of town weren’t necessarily thebest of areas. So the theory is that the curb-crawlers were afraid to stoptheir cars and would honk their car horns to draw the hookers to them.  Eventually, black people started to call thejohns “honkies” and it became a part of the common vernacular.




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