OT: Nig-nog, and insults

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Nov 5 06:54:21 EST 2003

Many thanks to all who leapt forward with stuff about this.  I am left
wondering whether in fact the offensive word "nigger" may have had
overtones of "nig-nog" when it was coined, though obviously it looks as if
it came straight from "negro".  That's one I am unlikely ever to be sure
of, though.

But aren't words wonderful.

Apart from friends who use "colourful language" at work to avoid offending
their workmates' various sensibilities ("dratted scarlet printer!" "that
purple copier has eaten my original again!") I knew a man a while ago who
used plant-life as oaths.  He once called someone a "lesser common
polypody" and nearly got a punch on the snoot for it.

As for calling a skinny drunken girl a "scalene martlet", that is asking
for trouble!


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