I have just watched the "Jungle Fever 1991" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Fever) film which tell a story a white woman dates a black man. So,

Does "Jungle Fever" mean a white woman dates a black man? (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jungle+fever)

If it does, then why they say "Jungle Fever"?

  • 2
    UD: "Generally considered a derogatory term that hints at past colonial relationships between Blacks and Whites, where White colonizers enter, with fascination, the African Jungle in order to learn from and conquer it." (scroll down to by 3504 August 29, 2006 on urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jungle+fever ) – Kris Dec 11 '14 at 7:47
  • 1
    It's a slang term, one may not find much by way of formal etymology. – Kris Dec 11 '14 at 7:50

Jungle Fever originally meant malaria, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, Collins, and others.

It's use with this meaning peaked between 1820 and 1860, according to Google ngrams.

During that period, stories and novels regarding missionary travails in foreign lands were popular. Some were erotic or about "forbidden love". See for example The Missionary.

So Jungle Fever also carried a meaning of forbidden love in the sub-text. This has been reinterpreted and made more explicit in modern times, as both your movie link and Urban Dictionary link show.

| improve this answer | |

The expression jungle fever refers to attraction between people of different race. According to Urban Dict:

  • When a non-black person is atracted sexually to black people. Originally it was used for when a white woman dates black men, but now it could refer to a white man who thinks black women are hot and wants to date them.

According to neologism.rice.edu:

  • Like Yellow Fever, a word describing the love for Asian girls, Jungle Fever describes the love for African American Girls. This term was actually taken from a movie that dates back to 1991 about an Italian women falling in love with an African American man. However, people mostly attribute this word toward males loving African American females.

  • Etymology : Jungle Fever- 1991 film- means loving girls of African American ethnicity

Jungle fever:The Philosophy of Spike Lee.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.