Discovery of Antique English Dictionary Sheds New Light on Old Racial Slur!

Published By Smythe, Thomlinson & Associates – Mayfair – 1635

Whilst searching the interior of an old sailing ship recently discovered in murky water of Hudson Bay, archaeologists got more than they bargained for when they came across a trunk containing a large English Language Dictionary destined for the British colonies in the Americas and dated to 1635 CE! Of particular note is an entry ‘underlined’ and marked out for particular attention by the London Publishers. It reads: 

Nigg’r – related to ‘niggle’, ‘niggler’ and ‘niggard’.  

1610–20; <Scandinavian; compare Norwegian nigla to be penurious (ultimately <Old Norse hnøggr stingy, cognate with Old English hnēaw); cf. niggard a mean or ungenerous person; a miser. 

Refers to a servant, indentured labourer or enslaved individual who is unwillingly or reluctant to part with their labour for little or no monetary recompense – whilst expressing a continuous and irritating resentment for the conditions defining their existential circumstance.’ 

This find questions the conventional thinking of the origin and history of this word, and sheds new light and a dark time of British history!  As an interesting ‘aside’ – DC Comics have floated the idea of a ‘new’ character in the Batman franchise entitled the ‘Niggler’ – possibly starring Denzel Washington providing talks with Black Lives Matter go according to plan.


National Geographic, University of Tel Aviv

British Ship HMS Unsinkable (Launched 1630 CE) – Discovered in Hudson Bay (2013)


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