As language evolves, we sometimes forget the offensive origins of certain words and phrases. Or we never knew them in the first place. Many of them began in racist, sexist, or generally distasteful situations.
Let's abolish these 12 examples in everyday conversation.
1. "The itis"
More commonly known now as a "food coma," this phrase directly alludes to the stereotype of laziness associated with African-Americans. It stems from a longer (and incredibly offensive) version — ni****itis. Modern vernacular dropped the racial slur, leaving a faux-scientific diagnosis for the tired feeling you get after eating way too much food. We recommend using the technical term instead: postprandial somnolence.
A couple years ago, Rush Limbaugh pontificated that a NASCAR audience booed Michelle Obama because she exhibited "uppity-ism." Glenn Beck even defended him, citing the First Lady's love of arugula. During segregation, Southerners used "uppity" to describe Blacks who didn't know their socioeconomic place. Originally, the term started within the Black community, but the racists adopted it pretty quickly.
This phrase intends to reference hecklers or critics, usually ill-informed ones. In reality, the "peanut gallery" names a section in theaters, usually the cheapest and worst, where many Black people sat during the era of Vaudeville