"Nigga" untrademarkable?

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 17 04:11:58 UTC 2006

Yes, I can feature a chick saying that about another chick. That didn't
occur to me, though it should have, since chicks appear to have problems
originating their own slang. I was thinking only of guy-talk. It could
simply be that I'm not only too old to stay hip, but also too boojie. Use of
slang by girls was frowned upon as both déclassé and skanky, since girls
among the black bourgeoisie lived sufficiently protected lives as not always
to be aware of the specifically male imagery behind a phrase, such as when
girls spoke of "not being able to get it up" to do something or used some
seemingly-innocuous phrase like, "I'm up for that."

OTOH, I do recall that my mother, who wouldn't say "Shit!" if she had a
mouthful, nevertheless had friends who cursed like troopers. But, of course,
these were maried, middle-aged ladies and not girls or young women who had
to worry about the impression that they were making.


On 3/16/06, Jesse Sheidlower <jester at panix.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jesse Sheidlower <jester at PANIX.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "Nigga" untrademarkable?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 02:34:24AM -0500, Wilson Gray wrote:
> >
> > I've never heard "[possessive] nigger" applied to girls or women. But
> that's
> > possibly merely a coincidence. "It could happen," to borrow Judy
> Tenuto's
> > catchphrase.
> OED's penultimate example shows this:
> 1999 FEDS Mag. 2 v. 66/1 Kim is my nigga, she's just so
> understanding.
> This is from a female speaker, BTW. I've seen various other examples in
> reference to women.
> Jesse Sheidlower
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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