Trinity Bethune from North Carolina was misnamed “Bon Quisha” by a Lumberton Honda employee on social media, after purchasing a Toyota Camry from the dealership. She, a young Black woman, recently gave an interview with WTVD, in which she calls the term “almost a racial slur”, but its meaning is far from unequivocal. So, what could be the meaning of “Bon Quisha”?
What happened to Trinity Bethune?
Interviewed by Michael Lozano for WTVD, after her first car-buying experience was “tainted” by a Facebook post made by the dealership, North Carolinian Trinity Bethune said she was “very offended by this post”.
“The name ‘Bon Quisha’ seems like a stereotype for someone […] to be like ghetto,” Bethune told WTVD. “It’s something people use towards Black people as a racial slur and as an offensive term.”
The employee who made the post has lost their job as a result of the ensuing backlash. But that hasn’t stopped people from wondering about the name. Does Bethune’s understanding of the name “Bon Quisha” align with others’?
Does Bon Quisha have a definitive meaning?
Urban Dictionary’s top definition of the term is “a loquacious [talkative] white boy that acts like a black woman as a joke”.
However, its second most-liked definition aligns with Bethune’s interpretation: “stereotype for ghetto”.
Other – considerably less popular – definitions vary from having a “great time” to being a “sassy, stylish, beautiful beast”.
What does just the name Quisha mean?
The name Quisha is a derivative of Keisha, which is of African origin. Per Baby Name Wizard, Keisha (and therefore Quisha) means “favourite”.
Names.org’s entry on the name features the following (unofficial) meaning, submitted by a user from South Africa: to “have a good time”. Incidentally, this is similar to one of the Urban Dictionary definitions listed above.
Again, it is apparently of African origin, although it does not specify which region or country.
Nations that appear to have the greatest interest in the name appear to be Bermuda, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Given the lack of consensus on exactly what the meaning of the name, or term, Bon Quisha is, the incident raises questions about the subjectivity of offence, and how context, and an individual’s interpretation of a linguistic construct, can generate meaning.