Words related to Negro

black (adj.)
Origin and meaning of black

Old English blæc "absolutely dark, absorbing all light, the color of soot or coal," from Proto-Germanic *blakaz "burned" (source also of Old Norse blakkr "dark," Old High German blah "black," Swedish bläck "ink," Dutch blaken "to burn"), from PIE *bhleg- "to burn, gleam, shine, flash" (source also of Greek phlegein "to burn, scorch," Latin flagrare "to blaze, glow, burn"), from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn."

The same root produced Old English blac "bright, shining, glittering, pale;" the connecting notions being, perhaps, "fire" (bright) and "burned" (dark), or perhaps "absence of color." "There is nothing more variable than the signification of words designating colour" [Hensleigh Wedgwood, "A Dictionary of English Etymology," 1859].

The usual Old English word for "black" was sweart (see swart). According to OED: "In ME. it is often doubtful whether blac, blak, blake, means 'black, dark,' or 'pale, colourless, wan, livid.' " Used of dark-skinned people in Old English.

Of coffee with nothing added, attested by 1796. Black drop (1823) was a liquid preparation of opium, used medicinally. Black-fly (c. 1600) was used of various insects, especially an annoying pest of the northern American woods. Black Prince as a nickname of the eldest son of Edward III is attested by 1560s; the exact signification is uncertain.

Meaning "fierce, terrible, wicked" is from late 14c. Figurative senses often come from the notion of "without light," moral or spiritual. Latin niger had many of the same figurative senses ("gloomy; unlucky; bad, wicked, malicious"). The metaphoric use of the Greek word, melas, however, tended to reflect the notion of "shrouded in darkness, overcast." In English it has been the color of sin and sorrow at least since c. 1300; the sense of "with dark purposes, malignant" emerged 1580s (in black art "necromancy;" it is also the sense in black magic). Black flag, flown (especially by pirates) as a signal of "no mercy," is from 1590s. Black dog "melancholy" attested from 1826.

Black belt is from 1870 in reference to district extending across the U.S. South with heaviest African population (also sometimes in reference to the fertility of the soil); it is attested from 1913 in the judo sense, worn by one who has attained a certain high degree of proficiency. Black power is from 1966, associated with Stokely Carmichael. Black English "English as spoken by African-Americans," is by 1969. The Black Panther (1965) movement was an outgrowth of Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee. Black studies is attested from 1968.

moor (v.)

"to fasten (a ship) in a particular location by or as by cables, anchors, etc.," late 15c., probably related to Old English mærels "mooring rope," via unrecorded *mærian "to moor," or possibly borrowed from Middle Low German moren or Middle Dutch maren "to moor," from West Germanic *mairojan. Related: Moored, mooring. French amarrer is from Dutch.

blackamoor (n.)
"dark-skinned person, black-skinned African," 1540s, from black (adj.) + Moor, with connecting element.
African (n.)
Old English Africanas (plural) "native or inhabitant of Africa," from Latin Africanus (adj.) "of Africa, African," from Africa (see Africa). Used of white residents of Africa from 1815. Used of black residents of the U.S. from 18c., when it especially meant "one brought from Africa" and sometimes was contrasted to native-born Negro. As an adjective by 1560s, "pertaining to Africa or Africans" (Old English had Africanisc); from 1722 as "of or pertaining to black Americans."
bete noire (n.)
"person or thing regarded with especial aversion," 1844, from French bête noire, literally "the black beast." For bête see beast; noire is from Latin niger (see Negro).
denigrate (v.)

1520s, "to sully or stain" (the reputation, character, etc.), from Latin denigratus, past participle of denigrare "to blacken; to defame," from de- "completely" (see de-) + nigr-, stem of niger "black" (see Negro), which is of unknown origin.

The figurative sense is oldest in English; the literal sense of "blacken, make black" is recorded from 1620s. But denigrate as a past-participle adjective meaning "darkened, discolored" is attested from early 15c. "Apparently disused in 18th c. and revived in 19th c." [OED]. Related: Denigrated; denigrating.

film noir (n.)
1958, from French, literally "black film," from noir (12c.), from Latin niger (see Negro).
Negress (n.)

"female of one of the black races of Africa," 1750, from French négresse, fem. of nègre "negro," which came to French via Spanish or Portuguese (see Negro). "In recent years felt by some to have 'racist' connotations" [OED, 1991]. Negrine (1703) also was used.

negrification (n.)

"fact or act of making Negro; a placing under control of blacks," 1929, in social context, from Negro on model of pacification, etc. Related: Negrify; negrified (1855). Johnson (1755) has nigrification in a literal sense "act of making black," and nigrify "blacken" is from 1650s.  Negrofy "to turn into a Negro" is from 1790.

Negritic (adj.)

"of or pertaining to the Negro race," 1851, from Negro + -itic. Nigritic (1883) is especially "of or pertaining to the (dark-skinned) Oceanic races," though formerly they were used somewhat interchangeably.