house nigger

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

By analogy with slaves that worked predominantly indoors during American slavery who were trained with more skills than basic field hands or plantation niggers.

Noun[edit]

house nigger (plural house niggers)

  1. (derogatory, ethnic slur, idiomatic) A subservient or accultured black person; an Uncle Tom or traitor
    • 2003', John Cheever, The Wapshot Chronicle, page 162
      "You look like a house nigger."
  2. (dated, now offensive) A black slave that worked as a domestic as opposed to manual labor.
    • 2008, Julia L. Mickenberg, Philip Nel, Tales for little rebels: a collection of radical children's literature, page 195
      If massa was sick, house nigger would come 'round and say, “Massa we sick, ain't we?