What’s the History Behind the Derogatory Term… CRACKER?

It’s an awkward feeling when we hear a derogatory term and know it’s offensive but don’t know the how or why of it. There sure are a lot of offense terms around these days, no ethnic group is spared.

I remember the first time I heard the term cracker. I thought it was because some people have skin the color of white crackers. I was wrong. I’ve stumbled upon two versions of the origins. One is that cracker originated in the Southern states, when white cattlemen carried long leather whips to keep their Longhorn cattle in line. The cracking of the whip, hence… cracker. The state of Georgia has been referred to as the Cracker State. The origins of that stem from an old English word for “a noisy, boasting fellow.” Back when this term was coined, it was believed to have been a fitting description for Georgia’s “backwoodsman.”

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees, Available here:

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

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Suellen Ocean

With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University, Suellen Ocean does her writing from the hills of Northern California. She began writing professionally for print and radio broadcasting in the late 1980's. Her first self-published book led to her becoming "officially" published, when in 1998 she was asked to participate in the anthology, "The Simple Life" through Berkley Books, New York. She is the author of sixteen books on diverse subjects.

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