Posted by Smokey Stover on June 22, 2006
In Reply to: Uppity women posted by ESC on June 22, 2006
: : : Does anyone know where the phrase "uppity women" originated? Thanks!
: : Well, the term was originally used in connection with uppity [n-word]s. Black people who weren't subservient.
The OED found the first printed use of uppity in one of Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus stories.
OED: "colloq. (orig. and chiefly U.S.).
Above oneself, self-important, 'jumped-up'; arrogant, haughty, pert, putting on airs. Cf. UPPISH a. 2d. a. attrib.
1880 J. C. HARRIS Uncle Remus 86 Hit wuz wunner deze yer uppity little Jack Sparrers, I speck. 1933 Times Lit. Suppl. 9 Nov. 776/2 Grammy is living contentedly enough with an 'uppity' young creature named Penny....
1932 Sun (Baltimore) 23 Aug. 6/2 [She] could have plenty o' friends. The trouble with her is she thinks folks too common to bother with unless they're too uppity to bother with her. 1947 'N. SHUTE' Chequer Board 68 They've been here alone too long, and they've got uppity...."
Personally, I've heard the phrase "uppity women" mostly used mockingly by feminists to characterize themselves in the kind of language they attribute to the boors who would keep them down. But I daresay that "uppity women" have appeared in speech and writing about as often and for about as long as "uppity [n-word]s." Obviously political correctness dictates a disdain for either expression. SS