nigger

[nig-er] /ˈnɪg ər/
noun
1.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a black person.
  2. a member of any dark-skinned people.
2.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a person of any race or origin regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant, etc.
3.
a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by blacks; a person who is economically, politically, or socially disenfranchised.
Origin
1640–50; < French nègre < Spanish negro black
British Dictionary definitions for nigger
nigger (ˈnɪɡə)
 
n
1.  a.  a derogatory name for a Black person
 b.  (as modifier): nigger minstrels
2.  derogatory a member of any dark-skinned race
3.  old-fashioned, offensive nigger in the woodpile a hidden snag or hindrance
 
[C18: from C16 dialect neeger, from French nègre, from Spanish Negro1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for nigger
nigger
1786, earlier neger (1568, Scot. and northern England dialect), from Fr. nègre, from Sp. negro (see Negro). From the earliest usage it was "the term that carries with it all the obloquy and contempt and rejection which whites have inflicted on blacks" [cited in Gowers, 1965]. But as black inferiority was at one time a near universal assumption in Eng.-speaking lands, the word in some cases could be used without deliberate insult. More sympathetic writers late 18c. and early 19c. seem to have used black (n.) and, after the American Civil War, colored person. Also applied by Eng. settlers to dark-skinned native peoples in India, Australia, Polynesia. The reclamation of the word as a neutral or positive term in black culture, often with a suggestion of "soul" or "style," is attested first in the Amer. South, later (1968) in the Northern, urban-based Black Power movement. Variant niggah, attested from 1925 (without the -h, from 1969), is found usually in situations where blacks use the word. Nigra (1944), on the other hand, reflects a pronunciation in certain circles of Negro, but meant to suggest nigger, and is thus deemed (according to a 1960 slang dictionary) "even more derog. than 'nigger.' " Slang phrase nigger in the woodpile attested by 1800; "A mode of accounting for the disappearance of fuel; an unsolved mystery" [R.H. Thornton, "American Glossary," 1912]. Nigger heaven, "the top gallery in a (segregated) theater" first attested 1878 in ref. to Troy, N.Y.
" 'You're a fool nigger, and the worst day's work Pa ever did was to buy you,' said Scarlett slowly. ... There, she thought, I've said 'nigger' and Mother wouldn't like that at all." [Margaret Mitchell, "Gone With the Wind," 1936]
Used in combinations (e.g. nigger-brown, nigger-head, nigger-toe) since 1840s for various dark brown or black hues or objects; euphemistic substitutions (e.g. Zulu) began to appear in these senses c.1917.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang related to nigger

nigger

modifier

: a nice nigger lady

noun

A black person •Not a taboo word as used by one black person to or about another (1786+)


Dictionary of American Slang
Copyright © 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers
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8
11
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