nigger

Racial slur; a contemptuous term for a black person. The word nigger was first used as an adjective denoting a black person in the 17th century and has had strong offensive connotations ever since. It remains one of the most racially charged words in the language.

Ironically, it has acquired a new strand of use in recent years, being used by black people in referring to other black people. Also known as the n-word. Nigga is a variation of nigger that also has gained traction in recent years. It is used frequently in entertainment culture, especially in rap lyrics and comic stand-up routines. Some people consider it altogether different than nigger, considering it a term of affection or just neutral. Many still consider it a slur, no matter the spelling. Do not use unless there is an extremely compelling reason to do so, and a supervisor approves it.

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REFERENCE: NABJ Style Guide
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