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nigger (n.)

1786年, 更早的 neger (1568年, 苏格兰和英格兰北部方言), negar, negur, 来自法语 nègre, 来自西班牙语 negro (见 Negro). 从最早的用法来看, 它是“这个词带着白人对黑人所施加的所有诽谤, 蔑视和排斥” [转引自Gowers, 1965, 可能是Harold R. Isaacs]. 但由于非洲黑人的劣根性在英语国家一度几乎是一种普遍的假设, 所以这个词在某些情况下可以不刻意侮辱地使用. 18世纪末和19世纪初比较有同情心的作家似乎用了 black (n.), 美国内战后, colored person.

Nigger is more English in form than negro, and was formerly and to some extent still is used without intent; but its use is now confined to colloquial or illiterate speech, in which it generally conveys more or less of contempt. [Century Dictionary, 1895]

“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]

它也被英国殖民者应用于印度, 澳大利亚, 波利尼西亚的深肤色土著人.

One hears the contemptuous term “nigger” still applied to natives by those who should know better, especially by youths just come from home, and somewhat intoxicated by sudden power. [Samuel Smith, “India Revisited,” in “The Contemporary Review,” July 1886]

在黑人文化中, 这个词被重新定义为一个中性或积极的词汇(并不被普遍认为是一项有价值的事业), 通常带有“灵魂” 或“风格” 的暗示, 首先在美国南方得到证明, 后来(1968年) 在北方, 以城市为基础的黑人力量运动中得到证明. 变体 nigga, 从1827年开始考证(如1835年的 niggah), 通常在黑人使用这个词的情况下被发现. 也可以比较 nigra. .

[F]or when a town black has called a country black (equally black with himself) a “dam black plantation nigga,” you may know that he has been terribly provoked, and has now ejected his last drop of gall in that most contemptuous epithet. [The Pamphleteer, vol. XXVIII, No. LVI, 1827]

自19世纪40年代起用于组合(如 nigger-brown), 表示各种深棕色或黑色的色调或物体; 委婉的替代词(如 Zulu) 开始出现在这些意义上, 约1917年. 巴西坚果被称为 nigger toes 到1896年. Nigger stick “狱警的警棍” 由1971年证. 到了1971年, “狱警的警棍” 得到证明. work like a nigger “非常努力” 是到1836年.

俚语 nigger in the woodpile “A concealed motive or unknown factor affecting a situation in an adverse way” [OED]被1800年证实; Thornton的“American Glossary” (1912) 将其定义为“A mode of accounting for the disappearance of fuel”, 因此是“一个未解之谜”. Nigger heaven “the top gallery in a (segregated) theater” 最早在1878年得到证明, 指的是纽约州的特洛伊. Nigger-shooter “弹弓” 是到1876年.

Origin and meaning of nigger

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