Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 10:10:41 -0500 From: Jesse T Sheidlower Subject: Re: PC Dictionaries? > DARE has evidence, both written and oral, of the use of "nigger" to refer to > "any person perceived as uncouth, immoral, or threatening, regardless of > skin color." It is used especially frequently by Black speakers. See sense > B2b. I find this particular issue one of the more interesting ones in the discussion. We also have this sense in RHHDAS (sense 3, "Now esp. Black E. a reprehensible person (of any race); lout; (used as a coarse term of contempt)."), with written and oral citations. However, one could make the claim that few or none of these examples truly represent this sense in free use. Many of our examples, and those in DARE, consist of black speakers simply denying that "nigger" means 'a black person' and claiming that it means 'a reprehensible person'. Even the examples using it in context--for instance, Chris Rock's now famous "Black people vs. niggers" sketch ("There's a civil war going on between black people and niggers....You can't go to the movies because there's niggers shooting at the screen")--do not use it in a race-neutral manner. While I think this sense probably does exist, it is nowhere near as common as it is claimed to be. Jesse Sheidlower