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No, ‘Niggardly’ Isn’t the N-Word
The Root ^ | Feb. 8 2014 | Lindsay Johns

Posted on 02/09/2014 10:38:36 AM PST by nickcarraway

A black Brit on his way to the U.S. wants to know if his use of the word will be offensive—and whether he should care.

“Niggardly.” Go on, I dare you. Say it. Savor those syllables. Let your tongue caress those consonants. If you’re black and reading this, you may well have just laughed, smiled knowingly, been confused or even taken offense, depending on the size of your vocabulary. If you’re white and reading this, you will probably have just experienced a mild frisson of linguistic danger, as you are either fully aware of the ramifications that your verbalizing the word might have if misconstrued, or dumb enough to think that you’re being genuinely offensive.

When, exactly, is it acceptable to use the word “niggardly”? I speak as someone who loves language, but also as someone who loves people. I’m an ardent humanist and would never seek to offend another’s feelings gratuitously.

I speak, too, as a black Briton about to move to New York to pursue his career in the U.S., but also as a proud heir to the ornate vocabulary of some of our greatest English writers, like Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Johnson, Gibbon and Dickens, all of whom have used the word in their respective works.

Let us be very clear at the outset. “Niggardly” means parsimonious or stingy and is derived from the Old Norse language. “Niggardly,” as you will thankfully already know or will doubtless be relieved to hear, is not related to the Latin word for black—“niger”—and thus is in no way etymologically connected to the deeply pernicious, pejorative racial epithet known in common parlance as the n-word.

(Excerpt) Read more at theroot.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; History; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: langage; racism; slurs

1 posted on 02/09/2014 10:38:36 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Just say cheap.


2 posted on 02/09/2014 10:39:33 AM PST by DManA
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To: nickcarraway

I’d say: Don’t be niggardly in your use of the word “niggardly”. Freedom of speech, you know. It isn’t your fault if others are ignorant of words.


3 posted on 02/09/2014 10:43:18 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: hal ogen

In our post modern age, the use of the word “niggardly” has passed into the realm of the use of the word “gay”.


4 posted on 02/09/2014 10:47:32 AM PST by glorgau
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To: nickcarraway

I had a very liberal History professor at Cleveland State who accidentally used “niggardly” in a casual statement and damn it if every rotten one of our so-called “black students” got up on their haunches and bitched the poor bastard out.

All I could hear from him was, “yeah but . . . yeah but . . . yeah but.”

I laughed my ass off at his trying to defend himself and at their total stupidity. But those chips were on their shoulders was back in 1979.


5 posted on 02/09/2014 10:48:28 AM PST by laweeks
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To: nickcarraway

I’m waiting to see it show up in a rap song.


6 posted on 02/09/2014 10:49:42 AM PST by Salamander (Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?)
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To: Salamander

Oh yeah, it was in that rap song about Silas Marner.


7 posted on 02/09/2014 10:50:41 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

While technically it comes from a different root word, the fact is that nobody says it anymore.

Back in the 70’s there was a big media uproar about the use of the word and media defended the use. And then nobody has used it since. Also a college was used and a teacher lost his job over the use of that word.

The simple fact is that it sounds too similar to the “n” word regardless of the original root being different.

Use “Cheap” it’s easier to say and will keep you out of trouble.


8 posted on 02/09/2014 10:57:37 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: nickcarraway

Thank you, teacher’s union, for keeping kids ignorant.


9 posted on 02/09/2014 11:00:29 AM PST by ozzymandus
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To: DannyTN

How about miserly?


10 posted on 02/09/2014 11:04:11 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I was recently in China and there is a Mandarin word for “that” or “you” or “them” (never was sure the context) that is pronounced exactly like the N word...


11 posted on 02/09/2014 11:07:58 AM PST by tophat9000 (Are we headed to a Cracker Slacker War?)
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To: DManA

cheap sounds like a baby chicken

Use frugal stingy penurious parsimonious.


12 posted on 02/09/2014 11:08:02 AM PST by bigheadfred
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To: nickcarraway

A good scanadahoovian word...... so tight you can’t even find your first penny


13 posted on 02/09/2014 11:08:37 AM PST by Nifster
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To: nickcarraway

That’s very nice and dandy for him to say, but we live in reality land, where public officials have been fired in DeeCee for saying it.


14 posted on 02/09/2014 11:09:05 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: nickcarraway

a Jr. Hi buddy actually got an attaboy from a teacher for using this word in a paper to describe his view of his weekly allowance. Of course that was back when we were all racists...


15 posted on 02/09/2014 11:10:01 AM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: laweeks
Yep, that is EXACTLY what would happen at any high school I can think of in NYC.

As a matter of fact, when I was an undergrad at a large Midwestern university, the student newspaper had a headline based on some research by an astronomy prof at the university: "The Excitability of Black Holes". OMG. The controversy, the s-storm of verbiage which could have filled the famous football stadium, cannot even be described. The black student union threatened all kinds of actions, etc. which only served to highlight their utter ignorance of astronomy. The headline had NOTHING to do with the anatomy of black females, but EVERYTHING to do with a cosmic body of exceedingly enormous gravity from which nothing, not even light, can escape, which is formed by the death and gravitational collapse of a massive star.

Apparently much the same thing happened in 2010 when Hallmark put out a greeting card featuring the term "black hole".

see it here

What is puzzling to me is why perfectly legitimate astronomical terms are eagerly attacked by blacks as "racist" but their own (c)rap music is chock-full of references to "b__ches", "ho's", and other derogatory terms.

16 posted on 02/09/2014 11:11:07 AM PST by EinNYC
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To: nickcarraway

It’s a word I would only use here on FR. It’ s pretty much archaic now.


17 posted on 02/09/2014 11:11:30 AM PST by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: nickcarraway

I recall a city council meeting in D.C. several years ago where someone used the word niggardly in a finance debate and a council member became racially indignant over its use...more evidence of public education in D.C.


18 posted on 02/09/2014 11:13:46 AM PST by Enten (I don't have islamophobia...I do have islamonausea)
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To: EinNYC
"The Excitability of Black Holes"

What gets me is that their skin in no more black than mine is white. I think it's totally out of hand. I'm sick and tired of "black" this and "white" that. Sounds a lot like S. Africa's apartheid crap that they supposedly got rid of.

Now, if astronomers talked about "Negro" holes . . . well . . . that'd be a different thing. Maybe they could call them "Baby Momma" holes.

19 posted on 02/09/2014 11:24:29 AM PST by laweeks
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To: glorgau

Resist. Refuse to live a “post modern” lifestyle.


20 posted on 02/09/2014 11:29:35 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Nifster

“A good scanadahoovian word...... so tight you can’t even find your first penny...”

...or so tight he screws his socks on...as in niggardly... :)


21 posted on 02/09/2014 11:29:57 AM PST by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: nickcarraway
"Niggard of question, but of our demands
Most free in his reply."

Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1 (Rosenkrantz, describing Hamlet to Claudius)

22 posted on 02/09/2014 11:31:13 AM PST by chajin ("There is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12)
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To: EinNYC

“...cosmic body of exceedingly enormous gravity from which nothing, not even light, can escape...”

Dually descriptive?


23 posted on 02/09/2014 11:34:37 AM PST by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: chajin

LOL. Shakespeare is hilarious. Never hire incompetent spies.


24 posted on 02/09/2014 11:37:36 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

A black Brit on his way to the U.S. wants to know if his use of the word will be offensive—and whether he should care.
___

The answer to the 1st part (offensive?) is: depends on who you say it to. The answer to the 2nd part (care?): no.


25 posted on 02/09/2014 11:38:01 AM PST by lakecumberlandvet (Appeasement never works.)
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To: laweeks

There was a recent dust-up by the black racists who mistakenly thought that a conference about the Black-Scholes options trading formula was actually about black schools, and they showed up ready to be offended.

Whoops.

If it were me, I would have been embarrassed. Since they’re leftist agitators, they are incapable of shame.


26 posted on 02/09/2014 11:40:33 AM PST by Disambiguator
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To: DManA
Just say cheap.

And a bundle of branches is a faggot, but we can't use that word either. Screw you and your niggardly use of the English language

27 posted on 02/09/2014 11:43:07 AM PST by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
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To: nickcarraway

LOL! I nearly spit out my cashews!


28 posted on 02/09/2014 11:43:36 AM PST by rabidralph
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To: Disambiguator

And the “offensive” term ‘black Friday’... I have had to explain to more than a few that it means a good thing for retailers; the day they turn from a loss (red) to a profit(black).


29 posted on 02/09/2014 11:53:43 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea
When, exactly, is it acceptable to use the word “niggardly”?

Use it when it advances the purpose of the statement that contains it.

For example ...

In 1990, I was working in a law office as a paralegal. My writing skills were deployed in drafting pleadings for the attorney who supervised my work. He reviewed the drafts I composed, marked here or there where he wished me to change it, after which he signed the pleadings and I'd file them with various local courts.

One such pleading was to answer an opponent's motion to dismiss contingent upon our side's acceptance of the opponent's offer of a token settlement. In the answer to this motion, it is required that -- if one is to reject the offer -- he must plead that the offer of settlement would leave our client substantially damanged.

I don't remember exactly what I penned, but it was something like this: "Defendant's niggardly offer leaves the plaintiff substantially damaaged ..."

The word niggardly accomplishes several things:

The attorney came to me to inquire about this word. He was a young fellow, politically very liberal, and ignorant of the meaning and use of the word. I expounded its use to him, expecting he would go nelly on me and ask me to remove it.

But he left it in!

I was most gratified when the Judge denied the defendant's motion to dismiss.

30 posted on 02/09/2014 12:04:03 PM PST by Brandybux (Oportet ministros manus lavare antequam latrinam relinquent.)
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

that too ;)


31 posted on 02/09/2014 12:13:02 PM PST by Nifster
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To: nickcarraway
I regularly use the word niggardly in my speech. (mostly because I know it pisses off liberals) I also use the N-word when appropriate. (mostly because, I was raised in an era when it was common speech ... add Mick, Kite, Pollock, Hunky, Dago, WOP, wetback and a dozen other words that were commonly used. And yes, I went to school with them and I got along with them, and they called me a WASP, when feeling out of sorts)
32 posted on 02/09/2014 12:14:43 PM PST by ConservativeInPA (We need to fundamentally transform RATs lives for their lies.)
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To: Starstruck

If someone used the word niggardly in conversation with me, I wouldn’t consider him a racist. I’d consider him a pretentious poop.


33 posted on 02/09/2014 12:19:13 PM PST by DManA
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To: nickcarraway

Anything these days can be racist.

The sun rises in the morning.
DAT’S WASCIST!


34 posted on 02/09/2014 12:20:10 PM PST by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
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To: nickcarraway

A guy on the radio yesterday told a caller that he might consider “hiring Guido” to break someone’s legs.

If I were Italian should I be offended?


35 posted on 02/09/2014 12:23:01 PM PST by DManA
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To: DManA
If someone used the word niggardly in conversation with me, I wouldn’t consider him a racist. I’d consider him a pretentious poop.

Sorry, but I read probably 80 to 90 novels a year. My conversation is influenced by that fact. Sometimes I even use words that I have read but don't know how to enunciate. However anyone who referred to me as a "pretentious poop" would be someone I would think to be a pretentious poop.

36 posted on 02/09/2014 1:00:04 PM PST by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
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To: ConservativeInPA
I regularly use the word niggardly in my speech.

And I continue to use "a chink in the armor," even though I heard that someone got fired for saying that.

37 posted on 02/09/2014 1:03:11 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: Starstruck

I’d be too polite to say it out loud.


38 posted on 02/09/2014 1:07:14 PM PST by DManA
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To: nickcarraway

Miserly is fine. Stingy is too.


39 posted on 02/09/2014 1:12:04 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

It should be used in a public forum so that stupid people can react first before choosing to look it up. It would bring out their ignorance. I could be followed up with ‘beats the Dickens outta me.”


40 posted on 02/09/2014 1:29:52 PM PST by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: DManA
Just say cheap.

sooo... don't call Jews "hook-nosed shifty-eyed Kikes"... when they are just being niggardly, right?

41 posted on 02/09/2014 1:31:29 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: DIRTYSECRET

Stupid people aren’t going to look it up. They are simply going to take offense.


42 posted on 02/09/2014 1:31:54 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Fiji Hill
"And I continue to use "a chink in the armor," even though I heard that someone got fired for saying that."

I once said in a business meeting that, "I like Condoleeza Rice, she calls a spade a spade." Someone said that was probably a poor phrase to use with her, and it dawned on me that this phrase I'd grown up with in Louisiana had racial overtones.

In fact, there are a lot of phrases I grew up with that I've had to expunge from my vocabulary. And I wouldn't be surprised if I don't still use some that I should have dropped.

43 posted on 02/09/2014 1:36:02 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Brandybux

Bulletpoints... on the money. Words have meaning. Words make impressions.


44 posted on 02/09/2014 1:36:53 PM PST by Rodamala
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To: nickcarraway
yikes...can I call Niger Innis "Niger"? I remember awhile back ( Clinton years, I believe)...the identifying blip on MSNBC had misspelled Niger's name. He dealt with it with grace and aplomb.

Reminds me of David Howard resigning for using the word niggardly. The DC mayor accepted the resignation, then the homosexuals went nuts and the mayor rescinded the resignation.

can't make this stuff up

45 posted on 02/09/2014 1:37:30 PM PST by stylin19a (Obama -> Fredo smart)
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To: DannyTN
You can still use the expression "to call a spade a spade." It comes from Erasmus of Rotterdam and refers to the digging device.

You can also continue to call an outdoor meal a picnic. A story floating around in recent years that "picnic" has racist origins turns out to be an urban legend.

46 posted on 02/09/2014 1:53:08 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: nickcarraway

I love slipping that word in to conversation. The reactions are priceless.


47 posted on 02/09/2014 1:59:33 PM PST by Organic Panic
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To: bigheadfred

Nah, we just always called my dad an old Scrooge. ;)


48 posted on 02/09/2014 2:45:06 PM PST by ShasheMac (Be still and know that I am God. Psa;m 46:10)
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To: ShasheMac

weird

your dad was my dad

lol


49 posted on 02/09/2014 2:55:31 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: bigheadfred

Haha! Dad really isn’t that bad, but we always liked to kid him when he was trying to save money.


50 posted on 02/09/2014 4:17:22 PM PST by ShasheMac (Be still and know that I am God. Psa;m 46:10)
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