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Ethnic slur?

Posted by Jim Brown on January 02, 2000

In Reply to: Ethnic slur? posted by ESC on January 01, 2000

: : It's clear that "the pot calling the kettle black" refers to criticism that could equally apply to the critic. But why is "black" a criticism in this phrase? I am specifically wondering if this is one of those nasty ethnic slurs that is left over from a time when such things were more commonly spoken, or if some other interpretation might apply. Any ideas or information? Please send an e-mail. Thanks.

: No! "Pot calling the kettle black" isn't about race or ethnic slurs. Pots and kettles used to be (and some still are) made of iron which was black in color. Two different objects of another color could be substituted.

But why? One day I expect it will be proposed that we'll be asked to remove the words 'Black', 'Brown', 'White' and 'Yellow' from the language to satisfy the sensitivities of some folks.