Probably an anglicized version of the Portuguese/Spanish 'negro' or the French 'negre'. The word 'nigger' was used in one form or another(negroes) for more then 200 years by the government, slave owners and the white majority in America. Somewhere around the mid 1800s it began carrying a negative connotation and it was replaced by the word 'Colored'. Because of the history of the word one can not consider calling a black person a 'nigger' to be racist. Do you agree?