Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 07:20:57 -0500
From: SETH SKLAREY crissiet[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IPOF.FLA.NET
Subject: Re: Political Blunder
With advanced apologies to those in the Johnnie Cochran fan club who may
be offended by the "N" word, even in this scholarly context I feel compelled
offer some elucidation to the possible etymology.
A "nigger roll" also known as a "Detroit roll" or a "Michigan roll"
is a wad of one dollar bills wrapped with higher denomination bills
to make it appear that the whole roll is high denomination bills.
It was often "flashed" or shown rapidly so the "mark" or person to
be impressed would enter into a venture, wager or scheme and put up
a real stake which would inevitably be taken.
Nigger rich therefore became a person who mistakenly thought he was rich
or had a lot of money due to self delusion, possibly from an
inflated opinion of his assets.
Then there is a "nigger head" which is a large ball of iron at the end of a
crane cable just above the iron hook.
Brian E. Mullins wrote:
Watching the local news last week here in Central Kentucky I heard
Senator Wendell Ford jump all over a caller. Senator Ford was hosting a
talk radio show and was answering callers had regarding politics and
where Senator Ford stood. A caller was complaining about the a tax
proposal that the Senator was endorsing. The caller said, "I ain't near
rich as you." The Senator angrily replied, "I ain't nigger rich
either." This of course was the political blunder of the week here in
Kentucky. Senator Ford later apologized to 04 that he may have
offended, which in this state isn't many. He said he was only
reprimanding the caller for what he thought was said. Being from
Detroit and then moving to Kentucky I have heard numerous racial slurs
but this one is one I never heard. Is there such a slur? What does it
mean? The only guess I have is one that once owned numerous slaves was
"nigger rich." I imagine it wouldn't be hard to trace Senator Ford's roots.