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Used by people who are not black as a relatively neutral or occasionally positive term, with no specifically hostile intent.
Used by people who are not black as a hostile term of abuse or contempt. Used by black people esp. African Americans as a neutral or favourable term. African Americans as a depreciatory term. A person who does menial labour; any person considered to be of low social status.
Any person whose behaviour is regarded as reprehensible. A dark-skinned person of any origin. In early U. Usually offensive.
Australian offensive. An Aboriginal person. New Zealand offensive. A Maori. Now chiefly in African-American usage: a person, a fellow regardless of skin colour. Recent use has developed from a conscious, politically motivated reclamation of the term among black Americans, and as such does not usually carry negative connotations, although it may be considered offensive when used by white people in imitation of this usage. The following examples show use of the word in reference to white people; examples showing neutral or positive use in reference to black people Spelling bee niggas at senses A.
In African-American usage: with possessive adjective a close usually black friend, a comrade, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a spouse. A person who is socially, politically, or economically disadvantaged or exploited; a victim of prejudice likened to that endured by African Americans.
In this use usually with awareness of the word's offensive connotations, but without intention to cause offence, to identify a group regarded as similarly disadvantaged or exploited. In quot. Brinkley in H. Any person who behaves in a manner associated with African Americans; a person who identifies with African-American culture as opposed to middle-class white culture. The black caterpillar of the turnip sawfly, Athalia rosae. Now rare. The blackish larva of a ladybird. A black or blackish sea cucumber, Holothuria forskalicommon off rocky shores on the west coast of Britain and Ireland.
A steam-driven capstan used on some riverboats; a steam engine used to drive such a capstan also more fully nigger engine. A device Spelling bee niggas to hold and turn logs in a sawmill. A fault, a defect. A dark brown colour. Compounds 3. Now rare offensive. Film and Television. A screen or mask used to deflect or conceal unwanted light, to cast shadows, etc. The luderick fishGirella tricuspidata. Being a dark-skinned person of sub-Saharan African origin or descent; belonging or relating to dark-skinned people of sub-Saharan African origin or descent.
Also occasionally deating any dark-skinned person see quot. See also nigger boy n. Now usually offensive see note at sense A. In extended use in quot. Chiefly U. Supposedly used by, characteristic of, or suitable for black people; contemptible, disreputable, or despicable; inferior; peculiar; bogus. Obsolete rare.
Forming nouns and adjectives denoting or deating a dark shade of a specified colour, as nigger-brownnigger-greynigger-pinketc. South African now rare offensive. Negro cloth at Negro adj. North American now rare offensive the coney, Epinephelus fulvus cf. Negro fish n. Compounds 3 ; formerly also the winter flounder, Pseudopleuronectes americanus. Nautical offensive an inward curve in the leech of a sail. Obsolete U. Niggertown n. Niggerville n. Sort by: Entry Date.
All rights reserved. Oxford English Dictionary The definitive record of the English language. Quick search:. Text size: A A. Keywords: On Off. Quotations: Show all Hide all. Pronunciation: Brit. Frequency in current use : Show frequency band information. Origin: Probably a variant or alteration of another lexical item; modelled on a Latin lexical item. Etymon: neger n. Etymology: Probably an alteration of neger n. Some early examples of the form niger especially in learned use may Spelling bee niggas represent a direct reborrowing of classical Latin niger black see niger n.
This word is one of the most controversial in English, and is liable to be considered offensive or taboo in almost all contexts even when used as a self-description. Senses referring to people. This term is strongly racially offensive when used by a white person in reference to a black person. In written Black English and written representations of spoken Black English, however, there are usually not the same negative connotations. Recently the term has been reclaimed by some black speakers and used with positive connotations in various senses esp. However, even among black speakers, use of the word is problematic because of its potential to give offence, as is clear from the following, from a black speaker: N.
Times 14 Jan. Darden said. Thesaurus ». Hellowes tr. Scot Discouerie Witchcraft vii.
Marlowe Let. India Co. Factory Rec. Downham Let. Sewall Diary 1 July I. Brown Lett. Wallace Princ. Law Scotl. Low Politician Out-witted iii. By gar, I get de satisfaction! He talks as crooked as a Guinea niger.
Williams Fall River Some say poor niger hab no shoule. Vel dat I dont know, but dis I know, I got something in my body make me feel tumfortable. Greene Heart of Matter ii. Rhodes Last Safari i. Regional Eng. ». Too awkward was their figure.
Byron in Mem.Spelling bee niggas
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