The Definition of the "N" Word

Topics: Black people, Race and Ethnicity, White people Pages: 3 (939 words) Published: December 15, 2010
The Definition of the “N” Word

A word everyone is afraid to define except in utter seriousness, for fear of being branded racist, in total ignorance of the everyday usage of the word, it’s portrayal in popular culture, and the populations of the people it is used by. The definition of this word can be determined by the context and the quantifiers that are used before and after it. It is a word that can have a derogatory meaning or a complimentary meaning. It can be defined as a black person, a slave, or offensive slang. It can also be defined as a brother, a friend, or cousin, if it is being used in a playful way. This word is also referred to as the “N” word. One can’t explain the guilt felt when even just typing the word Nigger. Although many African Americans support the use of the word "nigger" in certain circumstances, the mass majority of African Americans who lived in the times where whites used the word in order to degrade African Americans would passionately believe that the word "nigger" should be eliminated from all forms of language. Consequently, people should never use the word "nigger" because not only does represent shamefulness, but also the word can serve as a double standard when non-blacks say it. Before the post-Civil Rights era, whites would frequently use the word "nigger" to social degrade and humiliate blacks. During this time, southern whites would commonly use the word "nigger" instead of "Negro" in order to represent superiority over the blacks. This was especially common for slave owners to refer to their slaves as "niggers" in order to both debase the slaves below human beings and to show ownership over their lives. Even though racist slave owners and other whites called blacks "niggers" during slave times, southern whites also referred to blacks as "niggers" throughout more than half of 20th Century. Where did the word "nigger" originate? Honestly, the whereabouts of the birthplace of the word nigger is still being debated. The...
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