Spic and bitch
Celina
I need to write a paper on the origin of a "politically charged" word. I have chosen to write on one of these two words. However, I haven't had much luck in finding what I"m looking for. Please help! Thank you.
AdSumADS
Hispanic.
Lewis Joplin II
I learn something new every day...

SPIC - "Before it was applied to Hispanic Americans this offensive derogatory name was given to Italian Americans. First recorded in 1915, it is thought to be a shortening of 'spaghetti.'" From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

SPICK, SPIC - "1915. This may come from the expression 'no spicka Engleesh,' but the word was originally 'spig' and may have come from spaghetti, since until 1915 'spig' was used to refer to an Italian." From "I Hear America Talking" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976).

BITCH - "...bitch (Old English 'bicce') having meant female dog since before the 10th century and an immoral woman since the 15th. By the 1780s 'son of a bitch' was one of the most offensive and common American insults. By the 1890s, however, American men could also use the term familiarly, as in calling an old friend, 'You old son of a bitch you.'... 'Son of a bitch' was used so often by World War I American soldiers as an expletive or intensive (meaning 'God damn' or 'god damned'), that Frenchmen called them 'les sommobiches.'" "I Hear America Talking" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Von Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976).

John Leigh
From OED2, sv spiggoty: U.S. slang. Also spiggity, spigotti, spigoty.
Origin uncertain: probably reproducing broken English): now generally superseded by spic n. and a.
1. A contemptuous name for a Spanish-speaking native of Central or South America.

The OED gives a quotation from 1910 as the first use of 'spiggoty' in this sense.

AtoZ
THE AMERICANS IN PANAMA
BY WILLIAM R. SCOTT
ILLLUSTRATED; NEW YORK, THE STATLER PUBLISHING COMPANY; 501 FIFTH AVENUE; 1913

Chapter XVIII

'The first jury trial was on March 19, 1908. The natives found American ideals of justice somewhat exacting, especially the one requiring all those of opposite sexes who lives together to be married formally. Free love was a practice of long standing. A penitentiary, maintained at Culebra, will be relocated on the east side of the canal for the permanent organization. The native people have been nicknamed "spiggoty" by the Americans from their expression "speeka-da-Engleesh," which finally was contracted into "spiggoty."'

Return to the archive