One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
slang, derogatory, offensive
A nickname for: a hypothetically average or typical African-American man. [Originally applied jestingly in a number of songs and films, and later with more deliberately offensive intent.]
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Atlanta Constitution. From Rastus, aphetic form of the male personal name Erastus, regarded as common among African Americans.
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