Niggerhead

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In several English-speaking countries, Niggerhead or nigger head is a former name for several things thought to resemble a black person's head.[1][2]

The term was once widely used for all sorts of things, including nautical bollards[3][4] and consumer products including soap, chewing tobacco, stove polish, canned oysters and shrimp, golf tees and toy cap pistols among others. It was often used for geographic features such as hills and rocks and geological objects such as geodes.[5][6]

In the U.S., more than a hundred "Niggerheads", and other place names now considered racially offensive, were changed in 1962 by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, but many local names remained unchanged.[7] In 1955, the Aughinbaugh Canning Company of Mississippi renamed its "Nigger Head Brand" oysters to "Negro Head Brand" following pressure from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.[8]

List of items formerly called "Niggerhead"[edit]

Places
  • Nigger Head was the name of an island in North Queensland, Australia.[9]
  • "Niggerhead" was the former name of a hunting camp of Texas governor Rick Perry. It was renamed to "North Camp Pasture".[7]
Plants
  • "Niggerhead" was a common name for Carex secta, an endemic sedge found in New Zealand.[10]
  • "Niggerhead" was also a common name for the North American flower Rudbeckia hirta, also known as the Black-eyed Susan.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Koch, Harold; Hercus, Luise (2009). Aboriginal Placenames: Naming and Re-Naming the Australian Landscape. Canberra: ANU E Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-921666-08-7. 
  2. ^ Whitney, William Dwight; Smith, Benjamin Eli (1911). The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia. The Century co. p. 4335. 
  3. ^ "Skill in the Surf – A Landing Boat Manual". Accessed via Naval History & Heritage Command. February 1945. Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  4. ^ "English Dictionary – Definition of "niggerhead"". Collins. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  5. ^ Mordoh, Alice (1989). The Old Traditional Way of Life. Indiana University Folklore Institute: Trickster Press. p. 99. ISBN 0-915305-02-X. 
  6. ^ Wallace, Samuel (1878). The American Journal of Science and Arts VolXV. New Haven. p. 366. 
  7. ^ a b McCrummen, Stephanie (2 October 2011). "At Rick Perry’s Texas hunting spot, camp’s old racially charged name lingered". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Johnson Publishing Company (18 August 1955). Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. p. 28. ISSN 00215996. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  9. ^ "Nigger Head". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government. 
  10. ^ Cockayne, L (1910). New Zealand plants and their story. Wellington [N.Z.]: John Mackay, Government Printer. p. 109. 
  11. ^ http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/niggerhead