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For other uses, see Wigger (disambiguation).

Wigger is a slang term for a white person who emulates mannerisms, language, and fashions associated with African-American culture, particularly hip hop, and in Britain, the grime scene.[1] The term is a portmanteau of white and nigger.

The term may be considered derogatory, reflecting stereotypes of African-American, black British and white culture (when used as synonym of white trash). The wannabe connotation may be used pejoratively, implying a failed attempt at cultural appropriation by a white subject. It is also sometimes used in a racist manner, not only belittling the person perceived as "acting black", but also demeaning black people and culture, by proxy.

Historically, the term "white nigger" has been used in Northern Ireland to refer to the Catholics.[2] An example of this can be found in the Elvis Costello song "Oliver's Army", which contains the following lyric: "Only takes one itchy trigger. One more widow, one less white nigger."[3] It was also applied to Irish Catholic immigrants to the United States and their descendants. Today, the term may be considered derogatory to Irish-Americans.[citation needed] In another use of the term, Pierre Vallières's work White Niggers of America refers to French Canadians.[4]


The phenomenon of white people adopting stereotypical black mannerisms, speech, and apparel – which in the general case is called allophilia – has appeared in several generations since slavery was abolished in the Western world. The concept has been documented in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and other white-majority countries. An early form of this was the white negro in the jazz and swing music scenes of the 1920s and 1930s; as examined in the 1957 Norman Mailer essay "The White Negro". It was later seen in the zoot suiter of the 1930s and 1940s, the hipster of the 1940s, the beatnik and the blue-eyed soul of the 1970s, and the hip hop of the 1980s.


A 2011 class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for Minnesota alleged that the administration at a predominantly white high school showed a "deliberate indifference" in allowing a group of students to hold a homecoming event called "Wigger Day", including "Wigger Wednesday" and "Wangsta Day", since at least 2008. A plaintiff named Quera Pruitt sought declaratory judgment and $75,000 in punitive damages from the defendants for creating a racially hostile environment.[5] On July 24, 2012, the parties settled out of court, with Pruitt awarded $90,000.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bernstein, Nell: Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers, 5th ed. 607
  2. ^ The IRA 12th impression, Tim Pat Coogan, page 448, William Collins, Sons & Co., Glasgow, 1987
  3. ^ "The Elvis Costello Home Page". Elviscostello.info. Retrieved 2015-06-18. 
  4. ^ DePalma, Anthony (26 December 1998). "Pierre Vallieres, 60, Angry Voice of Quebec Separatism, Dies". New York Times (New York). Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Pruitt v Anderson, Borgen, Red Wing Public Schools et al" (PDF). courthousenews.com. Retrieved February 23, 2012. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ [2][dead link]

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