Words index  Vivian Cook

Can you talk Black?

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This tests knowledge of Black American English. If it seems hard to you, imagine how a Black child feels trying to understand standard American English in school.

1 Who is the baddest man in America?
2 Is it good for a woman to be womanish?
3 What do you do when you’re mobbin’?
4 When are you DWB?
5 Have you committed a sin if you’re ‘evil’?
6 Is it good to be straight?
7 When does the eagle fly?
8 Who might be your big momma?
9 When would you get your clown off?
10 If you pimp the other person in a match do you win or lose?
11 If someone has a Jones to chocolate are they allergic to it?
12 Where is the Promised Land?
13 Is it good for a child to be grown?
14 Would you git happy in church?
15 Are crips good for you?
16 When are you in the system?
17 Would you wear a silk?
18 Is your hair relaxed?
19 Who is a brotha?
20 Would you be juiced if you won a millions pounds?

Source G. Smitherman, Black Talk

Answers

  1. Who is the baddest man in America? (the President – it means powerful)

  2. Is it good for a woman to be womnish? (yes – it means acting like a grownup woman)

  3. What do you do when you’re mobbin’? (drive around in cars to find someone to beat up or rather ‘beat down’)

  4. When are you DWB? (when you’re stopped by the police for no offence other than Driving While Black)

  5. Have you committed a sin if you’re called ‘evil’? (no – it means having a disagreeable personality)

  6. Is it good to be straight? (yes – it means ‘all right, not needing anything’)

  7. When does the eagle fly? (on payday when currency with the eagle on it is paid)

  8. Who might be your big momma? (your grandmother or stout woman)

  9. When would you get your clown off? (at a party – it means get into the party spirit)

  10. If you pimp the other person in a match do you win or lose? (win – it means dominate them)

  11. If someone has a Jones to chocolate are they allergic to it? (no – it means to have an overwhelming desire for something)

  12. Where is the Promised Land? (anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, the boundary between north and south USA)

  13. Is it good for a child to be grown? (no – it means behaving in too adult a fashion)

  14. Would you git happy in church? (yes – it means overcome with religious emotion)

  15. Are crips good for you? (no – it’s a kind of criminal gang found in Los Angeles and Toronto)

  16. When are you in the system? (if you’re in the criminal justice system from arrest to imprisonment)

  17. Would you wear a silk? (no – it means a white woman)

  18. Is your hair relaxed? (only if it has been straightened)

  19. Who is a brotha? (any African American man)

  20. Would you be juiced if you won a millions pounds? (yes – it means excited)