View Full Version : Word usage research questions

09-02-2014, 12:53 AM
I'm doing a story from a White character's POV and want to check on terms used by a Black character, if anyone can help me out. Also, I'm not sure if they're widely known or just local/time-related slang:

- "Fey white girl"- I used to hear this in the 70's and never quite understood it, beyond that it wouldn't be a compliment, lol. Is it "fey," like phony and/or snotty, or "Fay," like an old fashioned White girl's name (like a goody-two-shoes, maybe?) Or... what? Also, is this term still used or understood much? And, I only heard the Black girls say it, so wondering if that holds any additional connotation or is just a coincidence. I googled it but only got Tina Fey.

- "A Rebecca"- I gather it means an attractive White woman, but does it include a sarcastic undertone (na´ve or clueless ala Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm?) or is it a compliment? Is it a term Black women are likely to use or mainly Black men? Would they be likely to say it to the White woman directly or does it have "locker room" connotation? And again, do you think it's widely understood or just from one particular time and/or place? Is it (and "fey white girl") something a character of only a particular sex/age would be likely to say? Or have you never heard of either term?


09-02-2014, 02:02 AM
I haven't heard of any of those, but but I haz a few mad toolz skillz.

I looked on Google Ngram, an amazing reference for anything that ever got into a book:
and got no hits. I searched Google for each phrase in quotes:



(For some reason these aren't coming out as clickable links, and when I make them so, they only go to google.com. Copy and paste each into your browser's address bar.)

and got 8 and 13 results, respectively. Several hits of each search are related to proper names (Tina Fey, Meera Fay), so this appears to me to be a very rare and/or localized phrase.

Urban Dictionary is a great resource for informal modern phases that aren't yet or may never bee collected elsewhere. It doesn't find either white girl phrase, but it has two entries for Rebecca:

09-02-2014, 04:48 AM
I suspect the "fey white girl" is derived from ofay (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ofay).