Baboon—resembling a baboon in ugliness, stupidity or primitive behavior. 1835. One quote referred to President Lincoln as the “Illinois Baboon”
It occurred to me that this might come across as a sort of racial slur. I certainly didn’t intend it when I put up my slang of the week. It may be worth discussion, however. For all that I love the era, and it seems to me that the people at least wished to be more mannerly and civil (even it they didn’t always accomplish it), slurs of this nature–racial, anti-feminist and religious–seemed to abound. At least more than we would allow today. To ignore them is historically inaccurate. On the other hand, writers should be sensitive to the people who were hurt by such displays. So how do we do this? Anyone have any suggestions?