Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 07:20:57 -0500


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.