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A tiny insect
A harvest mite or chigger, Trombicula alfreddugesi
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  • IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃɪɡə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪɡə(ɹ)

Etymology 1[edit]

From chigoe, likely from a Cariban language term such as Galibi Carib siko (chigoe) (early recorded variant chico), from Proto-Cariban *tikô.


chigger (plural chiggers)

  1. A chigoe (Tunga penetrans), a kind of flea found in tropical climates.
  2. A harvest mite, a very small, red mite endemic to the Midwestern and Southeastern US, the infestation of which causes intense itching.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of chink +‎ nigger


chigger (plural chiggers)

  1. (US, slang, derogatory, offensive) An East Asian person who behaves in ways similar to a stereotypical urban African American.
    • 2007, James Boice, MVP: A Novel, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 37:
      —He's not black, Stacia Jacobs who smelled like pee said. —He's yellow and black. He's a chigger. Do you know what a chigger is? It's a chink and a nigger.
Alternative forms[edit]