N-word - def. not covered

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 1 14:09:41 UTC 2011

Try HDAS, def. 3: "Now esp. _Black E._ a reprehensible person (of any
race); lout."

1836-1997 (i.e., the year of compilation).


On Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 10:35 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
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> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      N-word - def. not covered
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> Caveat lector: If not apparent from the subject line, this has a lot of offensive language.
> About a year ago, a Michigander white female friend of mine who is a transplant to Hawai'i shocked the other three of us in the room when she went off on a rant about niggers. To paraphrase, she said that a nigger was someone who didn't work, who lived on the government. She explicitly said that the word had nothing to do with race.
> I definitely can recall the word being used with the connotation of being lazy as a child. The OED provides a couple of definitions of the n-word where race does not matter. Nothing hits this exactly, however. I think the closest is:
> 2b. Any person whose behaviour is regarded as reprehensible. derogatory.
> The AHD is similarly close:
> 2. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive . a person of anyrace or origin regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant,etc.
> Wiktionary has nothing even close.
> Not being productive is also made explicit, with a twist, in the HBO series _Sopranos_, sixth season "Kennedy and Heidi" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_and_Heidi). It is scene five, "Wrong Neighborhood." Tony's son AJ is hanging with his friends when one of them doors a bicyclist (played by Bambadjan Bamba). The bicyclist is black and the dooring friend calls the bicyclist the n-word.
> The bicyclist says, "I am not a nigger. I am from Somalia, I go to school and I work. Do not call me a nigger!"
> Here, not only is being productive the issue, but apparently being a _recent_ African immigrant evidently disqualifies him from fitting the definition.
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA
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