Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 13:23:59 +0000
From: Jim Rader jrader[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]M-W.COM
Subject: Re: sand nigger
We have only a handful of post-Gulf War cites for sand nigger ,
though Nexis has (naturally) more data. The earliest cite I located
was from the 7/28/86 issue of The New Republic . Where the
reference is specified, it usually refers to an Arab (a vague enough
term in itself), though not surprisingly the people using this term
are not strong on geography: it is quoted in reference to an
Iranian-American (San Diego Union-Tribune 8/24/93), a person of
Armenian descent (Automotive News 8/8/94), and the "East Indian"
customers of a Nissan dealership (Denver Post 8-5-94). Sand nigger
and camel jockey got some publicity when Terrel Bell, a Reagan-era
secretary of education, published a book in 1987 claiming that White
House staffers routinely used these epithets.
The most interesting cite was from USA Today (3/21/90): Chippewa
Indians in northern Wisconsin report that white locals refer to them
as "sand niggers" and "timber niggers." Is this a recycling of the
Middle Eastern slur or something of independent lineage?
Synynoms offered, in addition to camel jockey , are raghead
(already recorded in Dialect Notes in 1921), rughead , and