, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 411–416 | Cite as

Me and the N-Word: the Story of a Peculiar Locution

  • Gorman BeauchampEmail author
Symposium: The Old and New Faces of Racism


As a young Southerner who came to reject segregation and Jim Crow generally, I was sometimes called a nigger lover--and accepted that epithet proudly. As an adult academic in the North, however, I became increasingly amused and bemused by the insistence of my peers at avoiding the word nigger and substituting the N-word euphemism for it. Since everyone immediately mentally converts the N-word to nigger, the whole evasion seems pointless and fatuous. While using nigger as a hostile epithet ought to be condemned, its role in history and in literature should be faced honestly, not fudged with euphemism.


N-word Nigger Nigger lover Euphemism Word magic Political correctness 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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