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1885 illustration from Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, captioned "Misto Bradish's nigger"

In the English language, the word "nigger" is an ethnic slur, usually directed at black people. The word originated as a neutral term referring to people with black skin,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> as a variation of the Spanish and Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger ("black").<ref name="Pilgrim">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It was often used disparagingly, and by the mid-twentieth century, particularly in the United States, its usage became unambiguously pejorative, a racist insult. Accordingly, it began to disappear from popular culture, and its continued inclusion in classic works of literature has sparked controversy.

In the contemporary United States and United Kingdom, using the word is taboo, and it is often replaced with the euphemism "the N-word". "Nigga" is sometimes used among African Americans in a non-derogatory sense or as a term of endearment.


Nigger sections
Intro  Etymology and history  Usages  Derivatives  See also  Footnotes  References  External links  

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Title::nigger    Black::nigger    First::white    English::people    Usage::american    United::about

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1885 illustration from Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, captioned "Misto Bradish's nigger"

In the English language, the word "nigger" is an ethnic slur, usually directed at black people. The word originated as a neutral term referring to people with black skin,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> as a variation of the Spanish and Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger ("black").<ref name="Pilgrim">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It was often used disparagingly, and by the mid-twentieth century, particularly in the United States, its usage became unambiguously pejorative, a racist insult. Accordingly, it began to disappear from popular culture, and its continued inclusion in classic works of literature has sparked controversy.

In the contemporary United States and United Kingdom, using the word is taboo, and it is often replaced with the euphemism "the N-word". "Nigga" is sometimes used among African Americans in a non-derogatory sense or as a term of endearment.


Nigger sections
Intro  Etymology and history  Usages  Derivatives  See also  Footnotes  References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Etymology and history
<<>>