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noun 
  1. (context, normally considered offensive, often considered vulgar, see usage notes) A dark-skinned person, especially a person of, or primarily of, Negro descent.
It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a ; but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, neither. I didn't do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn't done that one if I'd a knowed it would make him feel that way. — w:Huckleberry Finn, Huckleberry Finn, in the eponymous novel by w:Mark Twain, Mark Twain.
  1. (context, slang, often considered offensive) A person of Negro descent who acts in an unapproved manner, usually as a badass.
I love black people, but I hate niggers. — Chris Rock
  1. (AAVE) Informal term of address.
    • 2002, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, "Loaded Language", a review of Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy, Washington Post, Sunday, January 13, 2002; Page BW06
    • : I had overheard him greet a buddy who called him on the phone with "Yo, , what's up?"
Etymology: Ultimately from the adjective niger, meaning "black". Most of the Romance languages (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc) have the word "negro" meaning "black" (in colour) derived from the Latin "niger". During the period in America's history when black workers were shipped to America to work as slaves, this word came to be adopted from the Hispanic South American languages to describe a person of dark skin. Essentially, a "negro" person simply means a "black" person. Through constant repetition of the Spanish word in the American accent, it seems likely that the word was corrupted from "negro" to "niggero" to simply "nigger".


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