One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural Negroesdated, offensive
A member of a dark-skinned group of peoples originally native to Africa south of the Sahara.
Relating to black people.
The word Negro was adopted from Spanish and Portuguese and first recorded from the mid 16th century. It remained the standard term throughout the 17th–19th centuries and was used by prominent black American campaigners such as W. E. B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington in the early 20th century. Since the Black Power movement of the 1960s, however, when the term black was favoured as the term to express racial pride, Negro (together with related words such as Negress) has dropped out of favour and now seems out of date or even offensive in both British and US English
Mid 16th century: via Spanish and Portuguese from Latin niger, nigr- ‘black’.
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