Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
word "guinea" #1628
04/27/00 01:12 PM
04/27/00 01:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 1
H
helen c thomas Offline OP
stranger
helen c thomas  Offline OP
stranger
H
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 1
Could someone shed light on the derivation of the word "guinea" when used as a somewhat pejorative
or disparaging description of one of Italian descent similar to the use of the word "wop" for instance?


Re: word "guinea" #1629
04/27/00 05:46 PM
04/27/00 05:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
J
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah
jmh  Offline
Pooh-Bah
J
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 1,981
I don't know about the usage you describe. Is it used in any particular place?

You probably know that a guinea was a unit of UK currency - one pound and a shilling -it's still sometimes used for prizes for horse races (100 guineas, for example). I don't know if there would be any link there.




Re: word "guinea" #1630
04/27/00 08:02 PM
04/27/00 08:02 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 20
P
pieman Offline
stranger
pieman  Offline
stranger
P
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 20
I don't know what the origin of the word "guinea" is, but I have heard it used as a slur towards Italians.
It is also used in another way, one that is perhaps related. A "guinea-tee" is a white tank-top undershirt, worn by men. I'm guessing that it is related to the pejorative use of "guinea". I've also heard this undershirt called a "wife-beater." Whether or not these are all related, I don't know.



Re: word "guinea" #1631
04/28/00 11:54 AM
04/28/00 11:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
P
paulb Offline
addict
paulb  Offline
addict
P
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 460
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
My Shorter Oxford indicates that the word was used (early 19th century) to describe a black person, especially one recently arrived from Guinea or West Africa. By the late 19th century, it was used derogatively (in the US) to describe an immigrant of Italian or Spanish origin. It doesn't suggest any link between the two terms.


Re: word "guinea" #1632
04/28/00 01:06 PM
04/28/00 01:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel
tsuwm  Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
Someone must have really loathed the Itals; guinea originally applied to West African slaves and dago initially referred to Spanish sailors.

http://members.aol.com/tsuwm/


Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,883
Posts224,829
Members9,056
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
Nikki1221, Veezkneez, LOC, Luna, wordie
9056 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 218 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
LOC 1
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 9,157
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1.1
(Release build 20180111)
Page Time: 0.014s Queries: 13 (0.004s) Memory: 3.0961 MB (Peak: 3.2400 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2018-06-20 09:53:33 UTC