The Other N-Word

Niggard Niggardly Opinion
Tightwad Stingy

i recognize that anybody who can say 'niggardly' can also say 'cheap' without any significant loss of meaning. whether anybody likes it or not, 'niggardly' *is* loaded and will be for a time.

if one could presume that blacks would be insulted by not hearing the word because it insults their intelligence, one could also presume that blacks would be insulted by hearing the word as a *test* of their intelligence. if the racial prejudices against blackfolks didn't include those against their intelligence, this could not be an issue, but it is.

again, i've been asked enough times about eating watermelon, and had my sensitivity about 'black' gang violence questioned obliquely enough to know that these are ways whitefolks test blacks. i know these are questions whitefolks don't ask each other and whether or not they are innocent enough on the surface, they are racial investigations and everyone understands how delicate such matters can be.

niggardly is a codeword now. well, not a codeword per se, but certainly more loaded than it was 3 months ago. i can't imagine that anyone who has heard the story can think of it exactly the same way.

as i've said elsewhere, i take offense at the arrogance of people who think they have an inalienable right to express themselves in defiance of misinterpretation - that the dictionary controls all context and to hell with anyone stupid enough to disagree.

i think anyone who has considered this matter at length, for whatever reason, has ample enough reason to consider 'niggardly' a poor choice of words, and should rephrase, no matter what their company.

'awful' used to mean awesome. language changes. it's not a shame, it's a reality.

i don't think there should be any reason to feel especially attached to the word 'niggardly' in its original form. where is the great loss? it has had a good run and now it has been destroyed. it is forever tainted with racial baggage because of the washington incident. that's life. common sense dictates that the word be avoided because now it has become impolite. yet so many people are guarding the word's norse origins like a holy shrine. civilization is not going to become dismembered because another old word has become racially loaded.

there's way too much of this emotion, of these emotional matters crowding out common sense. get over it.

Cheapskate Frugal
Skinflint Cheap
Pinchgut Parsimonious
Penny Pincher Scrubby
Churl Tight Fisted
Grabber Venal
Scrooge Tight
Hoarder Chary
Miser Ungenerous
Scrimp Hidebound
Muckworm Penurious
Usurer Miserly
Codger Grudging