Slang dictionary

moon crickets

[moon krik-its]

What does moon crickets mean?

Though it may sound fanciful and innocent, this term is absolutely not. 

Moon crickets is a racial slur against black people.

Warning: This article features information about a racial slur that is highly offensive and that should not be used … ever.

Related words

renig, digital blackface, Confederate flag, blick, nappy hair

Where does moon crickets come from?

The exact origin of moon crickets is obscure. One theory suggests it begins with US slaves, who sang as a pastimean act of community and resistanceat night after their labor. Crickets are known to chirp in the evening, when the moon is out.

Green’s Dictionary of Slang, however, only cites the term in the 1990s in prison slang.

In 2015, a basketball coach in Maine settled a lawsuit against him after he called two black players moon crickets. In 2017, the Facebook account of an Oklahoma police officer was allegedly hacked with racist posts, featuring the slur moon crickets, against NFL players protesting police brutality.

The term is used solely in the US, and primarily in southeastern states like Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. There’s unfortunately a cafe in Florida called MoonCricket Grille which was founded in 1995. Their website states they spent months in search of a name that was inviting and whimsical, claiming MoonCricket conveyed the message of a “fun hoppin’ place.”


Examples of moon crickets

me: "someone white people think butter is a sauce"

white twitter: "now if i said i hope all you nig nogs drown on a boat back to africa you bunch of shuck jiving moon crickets id be the racist right"

@ALMIGHTYYYYY_, September, 2017

Hilary: i'm not racist
Trump: i'm also not a racist
Hilary: I haven't said anything offensive
Trump: liar i heard you say moon crickets!!

@big_business_, September, 2016


Who uses moon crickets?

While it occasionally appears in more innocuous contexts, such as the unfortunately named Moon Crickets Grille in Florida that thought the choice was whimsical, moon crickets is an extremely offensive racial slur.

Some black people, however, use moon crickets to mock fellow black people, using it in an irritated or condescending manner, implying they are stupid.

The tone can also be playful, perhaps inspired by a perception that some black people find the slur, while offensive, to also be ridiculous.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of moon crickets like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of moon crickets that will help our users expand their word mastery.