29 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You’re Black

Hand me that red stuff.

1. Doobie

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

What it usually means: A slang term used for a marijuana cigarette.
What it means when you’re black: A method of wrapping the hair to preserve a straightened style.

2. Sugar

What it usually means: A term used for a crystalline substance harvested from sugar cane plants, usually used as a sweetener.
What it means when you’re black: A term used for diabetes that affects 18.7 percent of blacks ages 20 or older.

What it usually means: Of or related to ashes.
What it means when you’re black: Skin in a state of dryness so extreme that it appears to be covered in ashes and will get you joked on if you get caught outside without putting on lotion.

4. Red

What it usually means: A color at the end of the spectrum next to orange and opposite violet.
What it means when you’re black: A fruit-flavored drink, usually strawberry or fruit punch.

5. Hollywood

Paramount Pictures

What it usually means: The center of the American motion-picture industry.
What it means when you’re black: The center of the white American motion-picture industry, which often relies on the same handful of actors of colors cast in various stereotypes (in the event that they are included at all).

6. Combs

40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

What it usually means: A strip of plastic or wood with a row of wide or narrow teeth, used for untangling or arranging your hair.
What it means when you’re black: A death-strip of of plastic or wood that your mother regularly tortured you with during grooming sessions.

7. Stories

 

What it usually means: An interesting account of imaginary or real characters and events told for entertainment.
What it means when you’re black: An interesting account of TV dramas and soap operas your parents watch at night, that you can never interrupt.

8. Twerk

Via gph.is

What it usually means: A dance popularized in the American south featuring deep body gyration and isolations.
What it means when you’re black: Something else white people tried to Columbus.

9. Boss

What it usually means: A person in charge of managing employees within a business or the business itself.
What it means when you’re black: A person that exhibits and takes great pride in governing and managing themselves, important because that agency is often stripped from people of color.

10. Hoodie

What it usually means: A hooded sweatshirt or jacket commonly worn as loungewear or outerwear.
What it means when you’re black: Something that can get you killed.

11. Light-skinned

NBC

What it usually means: The state of having a fair complexion.
What it means when you’re black: People will generally consider you more attractive, desirable, and socially acceptable to the extent that skin bleaching is totally a thing that people do.

What it usually means: A Danish term for poop.
What it means when you’re black: A shortened form of the word “babe” used as a term of endearment. Used when you love someone so much, even your pet name needs a pet name.

13. Spades

 

What it usually means: Tools used for digging.
What it means when you’re black: A card game that can turn volatile really quickly if your partner sucks.

14. Witness

 

What it usually means: A person who observed something happening, or the act of seeing something happen.
What it means when you’re black: A person your pastor will call for when his sermon is going well on Sunday morning.

15. Fade

What it usually means: To gradually disappear from view.
What it means when you’re black: A popular style of haircut, or the act of knocking somebody out.

16. Good hair

What it usually means: A nice hairstyle.
What it means when you’re black: Hair that is more European (straight, silky) in texture than it is black (course, kinky, tightly curled). It’s seen as more beautiful and desirable because of the Western standard of beauty.

17. Texas

NBC

 

What it usually means: A large state in the American south.
What it means when you’re black: The plural form of “text.”

18. Jays

What it usually means: The phonetic spelling of the 10th letter of the alphabet.
What it means when you’re black: An athletic shoe, often the most expensive part of your wardrobe, that will cause all hell to break loose if stepped on.

19. Mad

NBC

 

What it usually means: The state of being angry.
What it means when you’re black:A lot of” or “extremely.”

20. Donkey

Disney

 

What it usually means: A barnyard animal, known for its stubbornness.
What it means when you’re black: A large, ample rear end.

21. Bones

Universal Pictures

 

What it usually means: The parts of a body that make up its skeletal structure.
What it means when you’re black: A game played with small, rectangular dotted pieces that will make or break your party.

22. Kitchen

What it usually means: A portion of a home or building used for preparing meals.
What it means when you’re black: The nape of one’s neck, often populated with “peasy” hair.

23. Baby Hair

What it usually means: The hair that covers the head of an actual baby.
What it means when you’re black: The hair around the hairline that is plastered down with gel and, occasionally, an old toothbrush to make it look like the hair that covers the head of an actual baby.

24. Read

What it usually means:The act of understanding and consuming words and/or sentences.
What it means when you’re black: To tell someone about themselves.

25. Bad

What it usually means: Not good.
What it means when you’re black: Very good. Cheers to the baddies of the world.

26. Driving

What it usually means: The control and operation of a motor vehicle.
What it means when you’re black: The control and operation of a motor vehicle that greatly increases your chances of having to deal with a potentially racist cop who thinks you look “suspicious.”

What it usually means: An aggressive, lawless person; a ruffian.
What it means when you’re black: A person who wears their pants a little low, has several tattoos, or displays a slightly uncomfortable amount of passion; often ascribed to a black person no matter their criminal propensity or history.

28. Police

Comedy Central

What it usually means: People responsible for detecting and preventing crime to maintain public order.
What it means when you’re black: Government employees responsible for stopping, frisking, beating, killing, or jailing black people because they seem suspicious.

29. The Man

What it usually means: A particular person of the male gender.
What it means when you’re black: The person always trying to keep a brother down.

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