"Dorothy went on, 'Do you know the term brass ankle? It's not a word you mention in polite society. Just like the word 'n***er'—nobody uses that anymore. I haven't heard that word in fifty years. A brass ankle was a mixed-blood person—Indian, Negro, and white. Three different people. They lived in the country, and had ankles that shined because of the mixture.'"
—Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family (NY: Ballantine Books, 1998), 58
(Aside: I find it interesting, and a little sad, that I'm too squeamish to post the N word.)