the n word: on its way out?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Sun Mar 11 12:22:18 UTC 2007

Since my conjecture has been universally rejected, I ask my critics to answer the question: How, of two similar-sounding words of the same etymology, did "Negro" become the polite term and "n****r" the despised racist term?

And, also, is there any evidence as to when this divergence occurred?  In the 18th and 19th century "n****r" did not appear in any formal writing I've seen, with the sole exception of the 1902 Britannica.

   - Jim Landau

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list