Date: Mon, 31 Oct 1994 13:59:27 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: offending idioms In Message Mon, 31 Oct 1994 00:03:34 CST, "Donald M. Lance" writes: >One of the nagging little questions that has occurred to me from time to time >is to wonder about 'Negro' coming from Spanish and 'n---' from the French >form 'neger'. A good research project for someone; I'm frying other fish for >a while. Incidentally, the term "creole" came into English, in apparently 1604, from Spanish, more or less at the same time the term was being borrowed by French (1598). In both cases the term was used in translations of Jose Acostas' HISTORIA NATURAL Y MORAL DES LAS INDIAS (1590), in which the term "criollo" or "crollo" (?) is used for Spaniards born in the West Indies. The Spaniards seem to have played an important role in the development/spread of some colonial terms, another example of which is "mulatto", used also from the late 16th century. (What I report here does not take into account the less clear matter of whether the term originated in Spanish or Portuguese. The historical evidence just shows the term spread from Spanish.) Sali. Salikoko S. Mufwene University of Chicago Dept. of Linguistics 1010 East 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531; fax: 312-702-9861