To the Editors,
When we were going through New England in the 1990s, we passed a business called “YardApes”, which I thought was a clever name for what it was – a landscaping company.
The next time I heard the expression was a few years later, while in Georgia. As the kids were coming home from school, our host yelled to his wife, “The yard apes are home”.
Until I read the article last week, I had never heard it applied to anyone of a particular race, although the article mentions that it is listed as a derogatory term in online dictionaries. For those not familiar with those, if you invent a term and an application, and it catches on in popular usage, it will eventually show up in an online dictionary, regardless of etymology.