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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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