[PW] The sable race

Franco, Adrienne AFranco at iona.edu
Wed Apr 22 14:53:04 PDT 2015


Concerning equivalent for "white folks" -- I can't help but think of the song "Ebony and Ivory", with "white folks", of course, being "ivory".

Adrienne Franco
Iona College

-----Original Message-----
From: Project-Wombat [mailto:project-wombat-bounces at lists.project-wombat.org] On Behalf Of Andy Behrens
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 5:11 PM
To: Stumpers
Subject: [PW] The sable race

Carolyn Haley wrote:
> I particularly like the phrase "the sable race." Which made me wonder... what would be a good equivalent for white folks? Is there any non-albino animal that's white all the time, vs. changing coat with the seasons to blend into its background (such as ermine, snowshoe hare, ptarmigan)?
In this phrase, "sable" probably refers to the heraldic term for the color black. By analogy, white folks would be "the argent race". (OK, argent literally is silver, but in heraldry it's used to mean the color white).

Here's a coat of arms with a sable man on it: http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/heraldry/siebmacher/100-vongrumpach.jpg .  The heraldic description is "Or, a man sable maintaining three roses slipped proper" -- in modern English "On a yellow background, a black man holding three roses with stems, drawn in their natural color".

Andy Behrens
Strafford, Vermont

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