90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, August 2, 2012

How ‘Monday’ Became A Racial Slur

An off-duty police officer recently called a Major League Baseball player a “Monday” and as a result, lost his job.

It happened at a minor league game earlier this summer: Officer John A. Perreault of Leominster, Massachusetts taunted Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, an African-American who last season was seen by fans as a symbol of his team’s collapse.

Monday And The N-Word

The story brought to light the fact that the word “Monday” has become a slur that is slang for the n-word.

Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer traced the usage of “Monday,” in the online Urban Dictionary and found that it started popping up in 2006, many say on the East Coast.

It was the popular comedian Russell Peters, a Canadian of Indian descent, who put “Monday” on the map. In a January 2008 standup routine for Def Comedy Jam (widely circulated on YouTube), Peters tells of a Bostonian referring to blacks as “Mondays” and giving the same bigoted clarification that “nobody likes Mondays.” “White people are getting real…clever with their racism,” Peters jokes ruefully.

Guest:

  • Ben Zimmer, language columnist for The Boston Globe

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 29 Comment

Reporter Crosses Into Syria To Tell Stories Of Fighters

Holly Williams of CBS discusses some of the people she's interviewed, including women soldiers on the frontlines.

October 29 6 Comments

How Far Have We Come Since The Financial Crisis?

Or are we already going backwards? We ask Michael Lewis, author of books including "Flash Boys" and "Liar's Poker."

October 28 Comment

Cooking With The Fruit Of Fall

Apples are abundant, but so are pears, pomegranates, persimmons and figs. Our resident chef shares six recipes.

October 28 2 Comments

The Mystery Of Michael Rockefeller’s Disappearance

A new book attempts to piece together what happened to the 23-year-old heir, who went missing in Dutch New Guinea in 1961.