Monday, July 15, 2013

What is the difference between the words "n*gga" and "n*gger"?

Rachel Jeantel
According to Rachel Jeantel, friend of Trayvon Martin, the two words are very different:
  1. "n*gga" refers to a male of any race. This is the version commonly used in rap songs. This usage started circa 2000.
  2. "n*gger" is a hateful epithet, not to be used in polite company.
Ms. Jeantel's definitions might not be definitive. According to the Urban Dictionary, Tupac defines the words somewhat differently:
  1. N*gger - a black man with a slavery chain around his neck.
  2. N*gga- a black man with a gold chain on his neck.
Davey D explains how, to his regret, the words have evolved:
[W]hen I was growing up I was being called 'Nigger' which is offensive.. but when some white or Asian kid comes rolling up to me today talking about 'What's up my Nigga'? I should embrace him because this kid is down with hip hop culture... Even sadder is you have some brothers who take this word and flip it so that it empowers them..So now nigga is a good thing... We've internalized so much negativity it's ridiculous..
Etymologically, both words seem to be derived from the Spanish word for the color black.

MORE: Here is Ms. Jeantel's full explanation:

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