The “n-word” is widely considered one of the most offensive words in the English language. And that’s because there’s a very violent and massively regrettable history attached to it.
And despite the fact that we now live in a much more tolerant society, there is still very much a stigma attached to using the word.
In fact, the consensus about the etiquette – if you can call it that – surrounding the slur, is that it’s only acceptable when spoken by a black person.
Learn about the origin of the n-word:
Use of the word plays a huge part in hip-hop and rap culture and when used in such contexts, it is seen as a way of reclaiming and taking ownership of a word that, for hundreds of years, was used to belittle black people.