Gransnet forums


I'm horrified - Prince Andrew and racist language

(31 Posts)
HurdyGurdy Mon 18-Nov-19 16:15:54

Not horrified at him - but at myself.

Ok, so it's the Daily Wail, but that aside . . .

"Prince Andrew was today accused of using the phrase 'n***er in the woodpile' "

I have been using that phrase all my life, but not quite the same. I thought it was, and have had used the phrase as, "knickers in the woodpile".

I thought it meant something that was out of place, and of course, you'd not expect to find knickers in the woodpile.

Why have I never been picked up on this? How many people have I inadvertently offended?

And from reading the meaning of the phrase, which is next to the article in the link, I've not even been using the phrase correctly!

Won't be saying it again.

Has anyone else had a similar unwitting faux pas? Please make me feel a little better!

grannylyn65 Mon 18-Nov-19 16:22:10

Oh dear Hurdy 😁

Gonegirl Mon 18-Nov-19 16:36:21


ladymuck Mon 18-Nov-19 16:40:22

Don't beat yourself up about obviously had only heard the expression, not seen it written down.

Judy54 Mon 18-Nov-19 18:02:55

Best phrase to use is "needle in a haystack".

EllanVannin Mon 18-Nov-19 18:06:26

The Tower for you my lady !

Sparklefizz Mon 18-Nov-19 18:39:34

Best phrase to use is "needle in a haystack".

Doesn't mean the same thing, though.

B9exchange Mon 18-Nov-19 18:50:37

Try 'a rotten apple' instead!

GrandmaKT Mon 18-Nov-19 18:53:29

Best laugh I've had in weeks Hurdy! grin

Fennel Mon 18-Nov-19 18:57:59

God help us,
Really !

Urmstongran Mon 18-Nov-19 19:49:34

Oh gawd Hurdy!! What are you like?

BradfordLass72 Tue 19-Nov-19 07:11:21

I rather like 'Knickers in the woodpile'

Nanabanana1 Tue 19-Nov-19 07:44:48


Yehbutnobut Tue 19-Nov-19 07:56:56

Oh dear!

Grannyknot Tue 19-Nov-19 08:04:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JenniferEccles Tue 19-Nov-19 08:24:33

Definitely a slapped wrist for you HurdyGurdy !!

That phrase of course has been outlawed for years but I suspect the majority of us who may have said it in the past meant no insult whatsoever to black people.

JenniferEccles Tue 19-Nov-19 09:19:02

I remember a few years ago an elderly neighbour was describing how hard another neighbour had been working in his garden.

He said he had been working ‘like a n****r’

His horrified wife said “You can’t say that these days M”

It was said without any malice whatsoever but the phrase of course refers to the black slaves, so is unacceptable these days.

It was quite a common phrase to hear years ago though wasn’t it?

Anniebach Tue 19-Nov-19 10:19:08

Just thought of another ‘black as the ace of spades’ my mother
said it , I said it to my daughters .

In my teens I had a relationship with a black S.A., my parents were very fond of him , no way were we racist. I googled it
this morning and it is racist, I thought it just meant the ace in a pack of playing cards.

Alexa Tue 19-Nov-19 10:26:32

Hurdy Gurdy, if we live and learn we are doing well. If only everyone learned from experience as you have done the world would be a better place.

HurdyGurdy Tue 19-Nov-19 19:42:46

JenniferEccles - "He said he had been working ‘like a n****r’"

Back in the early 70s, my auntie actually said that to her neighbour who was washing his car on a very hot day.

And yes, he was black. I don't know who was most embarrassed.

AnnieBach - "black as the ace of spades . . . .I thought it just meant the ace in a pack of playing cards."

So did I!!!

I am now going to Google and see how else I have been unwittingly racist!

I need a large stone to crawl under I think grin

JenniferEccles Tue 19-Nov-19 22:32:49

The trouble is HurdyGurdy we almost need to Google on a daily basis as what is deemed acceptable to say changes so quickly.

Grannycool52 Sat 30-Nov-19 11:09:37

When I started at primary school, we were taught a rhyme "Eeny meany miny mo, catch a n....r by the toe" & I imagine many of you were too! Appalling! I was 4 and a total innocent. However, I taught my own children " Catch a pixie by the toe", making it into a nonsense rhyme to preempt their learning the offensive one.
At least we are more aware now.

Gonegirl Sat 30-Nov-19 11:15:59

grin Thought nothing about that one way back did we? Taught to me by my granny.

Sussexborn Sat 30-Nov-19 11:39:38

My grandsons said catch a tigga by the toe much to my relief.

My weekend job was in a children’s home and my Dad used to refer to one little girl as a picaniny! She was 3 years old, part West Indian and part Japanese, really sweet natured and chatty.

For years I used to pray “let the petrol light shine amongst us” I remember furiously blushing when I realised my mistake though no one else was aware. Blushing used to be a real thing but we don’t really hear about it now!

Kalu Sat 30-Nov-19 11:55:56

My school uniform was classed as nigger brown by my Mother and her peers. Different days and an innocently used term by many.

I do find it odd though that, if the term nigger is unacceptable, why so many black people address each other as nigger, but, Caucasians are being disrespectful should they us it.