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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
AWADmail 567

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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