[KS] historical uses of the Korean term YO^BO
hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Mon Aug 10 14:28:51 EDT 2009
>Oddly enough, that camptown pronunciation is now
>also often used in Hawai'i, though certainly not with
>the same meaning.
It is my understanding that the term and that way of
(mis)pronunciation was always used in Hawai'i -- WITH the same
meaning -- as a derogatory term to refer to Koreans, and that since
the late 19th century.
See e.g. Nora Keller, Ed., YOBO: Korean American Writing in Hawaii.
-------- q u o t e ------
"The word yobo still brings that pinch of pain, conjuring up old
injuries from the playground where bullies would taunt, 'Hey, Yobo!
You stink-face, kimchee-eating yobo-jack!'
"Back then, yobo meant Keeaumoku Street hostesses ... who called out
to men in the streets: 'You likee buy me drinkee?'
"Yobo meant Kitchen Mamas stooped over the grill at hole-in-the-wall
Korean take-out joints, or vendors peddling gold-plated trinkets and
psychedelic candles at Duke's Lane, or FOBs squatting in airport
terminals with coolers of kimchee and bundles of bedding like
refugees from a country we all wanted to forget.
"Yobo meant hardhearted, hot-blooded shame."
-------- end of quote -----
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