Skip to main content

View Diary: shocking profile picture on FB (13 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  etymology of cracker (7+ / 0-)

    According to the urban dictionary

    1.     cracker

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

    "Yo homey pick the cotton faster cuz here comes ole Mr.Cracker with his whip"

    wikipedia etymology

    There are multiple explanations of the etymology of "cracker", most dating its origin to the 18th century or earlier.

    One of the earliest etymological theories traces this term from Middle English word "cnac" or "craic" which originally meant the sound of a cracking whip, but came to refer to any loud noise, and is attested to by an 18th century letter to the Earl of Dartmoor, given below. In Elizabethan times this could refer to "entertaining conversation" (one may be said to "crack" a joke) and could be used to describe loud braggarts; this term and the Gaelic spelling craic are still in use in Ireland, Scotland and Northern England. It is documented in Shakespeare's King John (1595): "What cracker is this same that deafs our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath?"[3][4]

    Another theory holds that slave foremen in the antebellum South used bullwhips to discipline African slaves, with such use of the whip being described as "cracking the whip". The white foremen who cracked these whips thus became known as "crackers".[5][6][7][8]

        They are called by the town's-people, "Crackers," from the frequency with which they crack their large whips, as if they derived a peculiar pleasure from the sound"[9]

    A "cracker cowboy" with his Florida Cracker Horse and dog by Frederick Remington, 1895

    Another whip-derived theory is based on Florida's "cracker cowboys" of the 19th and early 20th centuries; distinct from the Spanish vaquero and the Western cowboy. Cracker cowboys did not use lassos to herd or capture cattle. Their primary tools were cow whips and dogs.[10][citation needed]

    An alternative theory holds that the term comes from the common diet of poor whites. The 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica supposes that the term derives from the cracked (kernels of) corn which formed the staple food of this class of people.[11]

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 02:56:27 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, mollyd. (0+ / 0-)

      Cracker Jack...oyster crackers...firecrackers...

      So many words (and phrases) have multiple meanings.  Then add into it the regional uses, and meanings of the same word or term in other countries.

      The list of "offensive" words gets longer and longer.  Many of them I find out about on this site.  

      There are only a few words that honestly screech offensively to my ear - "nigger" being a big one.  And then the similar sounding word "niggard" has nothing to do with ethnicity...its origin is ancient and is defined as a stingy, miserly person.  But I can't recall ever hearing the word spoken in conversation and don't intend to add it to my vocabulary for obvious reasons.

      My general take on words is that they are uttered sounds...when not attached to a specific language they're meaningless.  The power of words is in how they are used, what they communicate.  The most horrific things can be said without ever using a "bad" word.

      Sometimes I get weary of all the uproar about specific insulting! words and terms that appear in comments here.

      Thanks for doing the word research - which I was too lazy to do myself.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:17:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site