Moon crickets is a fancy sounding, centuries old racial slur, created to mock black people, during the era of slavery.
Its meaning and intent is still relatively widely remembered, so it is rather imperative, that you don’t use it, unless you wish to create some heavy conflict.
Origin of the term
The origin of the expression is debated, though the most plausible genesis for the phrase is coming from the days of slavery, when black people, after their hard labor came together in the night and sang their sorrows to the dark sky.
Slavers most likely mocked them for this, by comparing them to crickets, who are also chirping for the celestial body of silver.
Green’s dictionary of slang, however dates Moon Crickets to be a prison slang from the 1990’s.
Spread of the term
In the modern era, ruled by the internet, several scandals have been documented, in relation to white people inconsiderately using the slur, such as a Maine basketball coach in 2015.
It is rare to encounter the expression outside of the United States, where it is mostly encountered in ex-Confederate states; Florida, Georgia, Alabama etc.
Black people of course use it with each other, in a condescending and mocking manner, similarly to other slurs, left behind by white people.
- Dictionary.com – What Does moon crickets Mean?