20 Words and Phrases White People Just Ain’t Allowed to Say

Illustration for article titled 20 Words and Phrases White People Just Ain’t Allowed to Say
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We already know about nigga/nigger, but there are more!

1. Bodega

2. Hood

3. Ghetto

Really, no one—white, black, Kappa, etc.—should ever say “ghetto” again, ever.

4. Spades

5. What’s Good?

Nothing at all, now that you’ve said that.

6. Ninja

Is officially on the list because too many black people use “ninja” as a substitute for “nigga,” and all popular “nigga” substitutes are banned from white mouths.


7. Harlem

8. Cousin

Just sounds wrong coming from a white person’s mouth. Plus, we know how they generally feel about cousin culture.


9. Homie

10. Aight

Just say “all right,” man. “All righty” is even better, for you.

11. Soul Food

They can eat it, and they can even cook or sell it. Just don’t call it soul food. Call it something else, like—I don’t know—spirit food. Yeah, there we go. Spirit food.

12. Yams

13. Booty

14. Twerk

15. Collard Greens

When I was a kid, I used to think that “collard greens” were actually called “colored greens” because black people were the only ones who ate them. I had an interesting childhood. Anyway, “collard” sounds too much like “colored,” so banned.


16. Solange

17. Drank

I know it’s the past tense of drink. But black people appropriated “drank” so that it refers to alcoholic beverages, and when I hear a white person say it now, I just think, “You need to be saying booze or something instead.”


18. Black Twitter

Fuck you.

19. Moist

It’s already on the banned list for black people, and I’m not going to discriminate.


20. Any Sentence With the Words “Potato” and “Salad” in It

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for GQ.com, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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[raises hand tentatively]

Um... When’s the last time anyone said ‘homie?’