nigga

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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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. (offensive, ethnic slur, vulgar, dated) Pronunciation spelling of nigger.
  2. (vulgar, slang, often offensive, but also often used affectionately in African American Vernacular) A close and loyal friend.
    I'd never betray you, cuz you my nigga, man.
  3. (vulgar, slang, often offensive, but tolerated in African American Vernacular) A black person (usually male), 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.
    • 2010, Chunichi, The Return of a Gangster's Girl, page 26:
      "I mean, if you're not interested, it ain't nothing but a thang, baby girl. Just let a nigga know."

Usage notes[edit]

  • There have been efforts by those of African descent to reclaim the word nigger, especially in this form (nigga, and its variants such as niggah), but these efforts are controversial, and some people do not believe it is able to be reclaimed, due to its fraught history and continued derogatory usage. Usage by non-blacks is almost invariably highly offensive. For more, see nigger.
  • Several variant spellings of this word have been in use for a long time, including niggah and nigguh, which were long only pluralized with -s (niggahs, etc.) but are now often (informally) also pluralized with the eye dialect ending -z (niggahz). More recently, spellings like nikka and nikkah have also come into use in informal dialogue and hip-hop. Sometimes, especially in period writing from before the mid-20th century, nigguh is specifically pronunciation spelling for a white Southern realization of nigger, and nigga(h) is pronunciation spelling for an African-American realization.

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