Uncle Scrooge, Uncle Scrooge …

Good morniistorii4ng, folks!

You might think that today I’m gonna talk about comics, but I’m not. It’s my daily contribution to the broadcast of A.W.A.D.’s word of the day. This little, innocent word is related to a curious story:  in 1999 its use in an official occasion stirred up a hornet ‘s nest due to the slight resemblance of its pronunciation to the word ‘nigger’ causing the s.c. Howard (or Washington) incident (see Wikipedia for further details) and the subsequent blacklisting of the word from public speeches because deemed as ‘politically incorrect’. As a matter of fact, the word has no relation to the abusive expression ‘nigger’, as explained by A.W.A.D. in the following lines. On the contrary, it has a lot to to with the title of my post …

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, similarity in sounds has led to people objecting to it. It’s seen more often in its adjectival 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.
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