–noun 1. an excessively parsimonious, miserly, or stingy person.
–adjective 2. niggardly; miserly; stingy.
[Origin: 1325–75; ME nyggard, equiv. to nig niggard (<>
As part of the coverage of the use of the "N-word" on Big Brother, I've stumbled across a marvellous piece of Political Correctness.
It seems the word "niggardly" can get you into a ton of trouble, even though it has absolutely no racial meaning , detrimental or otherwise.
Now I have long ago decided that I will use other words for "happy" if "gay" is going to cause offence. I have plenty of ways of describing the colour brown without resorting to one beginning with N. I have no need for "faggots" while lighting a fire. I will gladly forego metaphors involving Woodpiles.
But I will not, never ever give up using a word just because the first four letters are offensive. Otherwise I'm going to have to give up Shittake mushrooms and playing Craps.
Surely we can agree that there are words and contexts that are offensive. The Big Brother incident was one of those. But the case is lessened when there is a witch-hunt mentality, where the innocent can be punished with the guilty.
I'm reminded of the paediatrician who had trouble with the same sort of people who only have the brain cells to take in the first four letters of a word. They inevitably thought she was a paedophile.