Google+ Georgia On My Mind: Are You a Cracker? Thank the Irish!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Are You a Cracker? Thank the Irish!

Words are funny little things. What can be an epithet to some are proud labels to others.

The label “cracker” is one of those words. Many think they are highly insulting someone if they call them a “cracker.” Some folks are insulted by the label. Others wear it proudly and seem to like the moniker.

I guess it all depends upon who is using the word and who is on the receiving end of the label.

Heck, Atlanta even had a baseball team by that name, and like everything in the South in those days we had the Black Crackers as well.

It’s all in the context.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia has an interesting article about the word “cracker.” At one point the article states:

The true history of the name [cracker], however, is more involved and shows a shift in application over time. Linguists now believe the original root to be the Gaelic craic, still used in Ireland (anglicized in spelling to crack) for “entertaining conversation.”

Eventually the English used to the term to refer to someone who brags excessively.

I like to think the term was used here in Georgia to refer to the settlers who cracked their whips to keep their cattle in line.

At any rate….Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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