antedate for "nigger" = exploited person, UK 1941 (OED 1963)

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Jun 21 17:39:41 UTC 2013

Pretty much off the topic, but I'm reminded of an amusing occurrence:  In the early 1970s, I was browsing in a college bookstore in Los Angeles, and I noticed Jerry Farber's _The Student as Nigger_ shelved in the "Black Studies" section.

That word makes folks behave in strange ways!


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Jesse Sheidlower [jester at PANIX.COM]
Sent: Friday, June 21, 2013 12:37 PM

On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 09:32:41AM -0700, Geoffrey Nunberg wrote:
>  “Since there are no niggers here, they had to create niggers. The poor are the niggers in this country." Wyndham Lewis in The Vulgar Streak, 1941.
> The OED defines this sense as "6. Esp. U.S. A person who is socially, politically, or economically disadvantaged or exploited; a victim of prejudice likened to that endured by African Americans," and gives as the earliest cite a 1963 sentence from Hunter Thompson.

Great find. Thanks Geoff.

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society -

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