nigga

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From nigger, coming from dialects of the English language which are non-rhotic.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nigga ‎(plural niggas or niggaz)

  1. (ethnic slur, vulgar, slang, offensive, dated) Eye dialect spelling of nigger.
  2. (vulgar, slang, often considered offensive, but commonly used affectionately, especially in African American Vernacular) A close and loyal friend.
    I'd never betray you, cuz you my nigga, man.
  3. (vulgar, slang, often considered offensive, but tolerated in African American Vernacular) A black person, especially an African American.
    As soon as I walked into the class and saw that sea of white faces, I felt alone, so I sat next to the only other nigga there.

Usage notes[edit]

  • There are many nonstandard spellings of this word: niggah, nigguh and nikka. Most of them can be pluralized in written English with either a -s or a -z. So niggahz, nigguhz and nikkaz are common, in addition to the standard niggahs, nigguhs and nikkas. All of the -z spellings are modern, not used in older texts or period writing. The spelling nigguz is only found in the plural; there is no use of *niggu as a singular. All of these nonstandard spellings are used mainly in dialogue, hip hop and casual messaging; more formal writing usually uses nigga and niggas".
  • The spellings niggah and nigguh have been in use for a long time. The spellings with a kk (nikka, nikkah) are only used in modern texts.
  • The spelling nigguh to mean nigga is common in hip hop lyrics and titles; it is found in modern dialogue as eye dialect for nigga as well, but more rarely. It is more commonly used as eye dialect for period writing taking place prior to the mid-20th century (or writing meant to simulate that era), reflecting the speech of white people saying nigger in a Southern dialect; when this distinction is made, niggah or nigga is more likely to reflect the speech of African Americans.
  • With any spelling or pronounciation, nigga is typically seen as offensive when used by someone who is not African American. Its use by African Americans is sometimes seen as offensive as well, but that is not as common a reaction.
  • See more usage notes at nigger.

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]