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Answered 2014-09-12 21:02:19

Jive turkey was a derogatory slang word in African American Vernacular English, used to refer to someone who was unreliable, made empty promises, or who was full of bluster. The insult became widely known among white Americans in the 1970s, particularly via television comedies (e.g., The Jeffersons). The term has been used by later television characters (e.g., Homer Simpson) in order to demonstrate that they are out of touch with modern youth trends, culture, and language. Jive turkey, however, was already falling into disuse when it was spoken by supposedly "hip" characters in the 1970s, such as George Jefferson, and later in 2008 by Cornelius Banks (Tim Meadows) in the movie "Semi-Pro." The humorous/interesting sound of the term has also resulted in it being use in complimentary fashion, often by those who don't know what it means and so make up their own meaning. The term has also been translated to mean a white person who can dance. Turkey, being white meat, represents the white person. Jive is a form of dance.

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