African-American slang

African-American slang for insult: “dis”

African-American slang for insult; short for “disrespect.” When Public Enemy’s Chuck D. appeared on Nightline in January 1992, he corrected his own speech, saying “as a black person been tired of being dis-respected,” but most viewers already knew what “dis” meant.

Hip-hop had popularized and disseminated the term, making it part of the American vernacular. By 1995, even white-bread figures like former Today Show host Jane Pauley could use the term without pause or apology on Conan O’Brien’s talk show.

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