General Question

sweetsweetstephy's avatar

What is the origin of the word "negro"?

Asked by sweetsweetstephy (338 points ) October 6th, 2011

Could it be because of the proximity to the Niger River of where people were taken captive in during the slave trade?

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

I suspect it comes from the Spanish word for black “negro.”

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iphigeneia's avatar

@janbb is correct, though you’re not that far off, since the Spanish/Portuguese ‘negro’ is descended from the Latin word for black, niger.

JLeslie's avatar

Like others have said in Latin Niger means black.

The_Idler's avatar

The root of the word is much older than European involvement in the slave trade, and the river probably shares that ancient (literal) root.

It literally means “black”.

It does not have negative connotations in other languages, being a literal adjective rather than a racial label, as it has become in English.

laineybug's avatar

Es como se dice el color “black” en Espanol. Which means, it’s how you say the color black in Spanish.

Nullo's avatar

The Online Etymology Dictionary corroborates the view that it comes from Latin words for ‘black.’
I sometimes sit and wonder at the drama that might ensue if someone – in the process of writing an essay about African rivers, for instance, or a news article – were to accidentally leave an extra ‘r’ in there while talking about the Niger. The fallout simulation never fails to amuse.

Hibernate's avatar

I’m not sure about the origin but in the Bible in the new testament [Acts 13] there’s a person mentioned with this name and explanation of his name. [of course niger = black // nothing special]

alanyoung1's avatar

The word Negro is Spanish for BLACK. The Spanish language comes from Latin, which has its origins in Classical Greek. The word Negro in Greek, is derived from the root word ‘necro’.

Soupy's avatar

Negro comes from the Spanish/Portuguese word for black, which comes from the Latin word “Niger”, or that’s what I heard in school.

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Boogabooga1's avatar

Black.
You should really try to pay attention to your language its history and the languages of others. It will really open your mind.
The concise Oxford English dictionary is a pretty awesome guide for beginners to experts in language. Avoid Websters dumbed down version like the plague.

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