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May 10, 2013
This week's theme
Terms that appear offensive but aren't

This week's words
queer street
niggler
tar baby
cockshy
niggard

This week's comments
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Next week's theme
Verbs
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

niggard

PRONUNCIATION:
(NIG-hurd)

MEANING:
noun: A mean, stingy person.
adjective: Stingy.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle English nigard, of Scandinavian origin. Earliest documented use: 1384.

NOTES:
Today's word has nothing to do with the N-word; however, the similarity in sound has led people to object to it. It's seen more often in its adjectival/adverbial form, niggardly, as in: "Japan has the world's second-largest economy, yet its promised $200m so far is niggardly." (The Economist). In the US, the word has become radioactive and its use has led to many controversies.

USAGE:
"It is a niggard's gift that costs the giver nothing."
George R.R. Martin; A Dance with Dragons; Bantam Books; 2011.

See more usage examples of niggard in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I'm not at all contemptuous of comforts, but they have their place and it is not first. -E.F. Schumacher, economist and author (1911-1977)

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