10 Reasons the N-Word Is the Greatest Word in the English Language

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1. Because “nigga” rhymes with a shitload of things, which comes in handy during freestyle rap cyphers at 3 a.m. at IHOP.


2. Because it can be any part of speech you want it to be—a noun (“Pass me that nigga”), a pronoun (“Pass me that nigga, nigga”), an adjective (“Pass me that nigga cheese, nigga”) and even a verb (“Yea, we gotta nigga that nigga up”).

3. Because the word itself is poetic. Seriously, next time you brush your teeth in the morning, just say, “Nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga, nigga” to yourself in the mirror and listen to how lyrical it sounds.

4. Because you can construct entire descriptive and nuanced sentences with “nigga” as the only important word (“Nigga, that nigga went full nigga”).

5. Because you can construct entire descriptive and nuanced conversations with “nigga” as the only word (“Nigga!” “Nigga?” “Nigga ... ”).

6. Because you can tell a lot about a nigga by the way he or she uses “nigga.” Some say it with disdain, like they reserve “nigga” for when they’re talking about niggas the way white people talk about “niggers.” And that lets you know that nigga probably puts kale on grits.

7. Because there are levels to “nigga” use and I, a veteran “nigga” user, have great respect for that process.


8. Because I enjoy calling myself a veteran “nigga” user, and I’d like for novice “nigga” users to eventually have that experience. So much so that I’m a “nigga”-use mentor.

9. Because it’s a word that transcends status and station. “Nigga” doesn’t give a shit about your degrees or your IRA or your updated appliances. It couldn’t care less about who you know, where you summered or what your credit score is. It just wants to know if you’re a nigga and if you’re my nigga.


10. Because white people can’t say it (my favorite reason).

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


10. Because white people shouldn’t say it (my favorite reason).

FTFY. Can’t implies they are unable to, which they most assuredly are not as evidence by numerous posts about white people saying it on this very site. Shouldn’t is what you actually mean.