The term wigger means a person (generally a white person) who by act does things that stereotypically are related to urban African Americans, Black British and Caribbean culture, especially in relation to hip hop culture and British Grime/Garage scene. The word can also be spelled as wigga, whigger or whigga, also known as acting black. Other words for "wigger" include wankster and wangsta. The term originates from a blend of the word white and the insulting term nigger. The word is considered offensive by some because of its sameness to nigger. Also known to be offensive due to stereotypical ideas about urban blacks.
The act of white people using stereotypical black actions, slang, and clothing has appeared in many generations since slavery was removed 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 seen in the 1957 Norman Mailer essay, "The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster"." It was later seen in the Zoot suiter of the 1930s and 1940s; the hipster of the 1940s; and the beatnik and rock and roller of the 1950s.
References in popular culture[change | change source]
- The satirical newspaper The Onion sometimes features an accountant/wigger columnist, Herbert Kornfeld, whose columns are written in Black English slang remarkably similar to that of the Staten Island, New York rap group, Wu-Tang Clan.
- In his song "The Way I Am", Eminem lashes out at the "cocky Caucasians who think I'm some wigger who just tries to be black 'cause I talk with an accent and grab on my balls."
- Elvis Costello uses the phrase "white nigger" for unclear reasons in his song "Oliver's Army", it is rarely censored on British radio.
- The song "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)", by The Offspring details how a wigger tries too hard.
- Wigger (1995) ISBN 1-55152-020-6 is a novel by Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite set in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It explores the class struggle, poverty, prostitution, exploitation of youth, desolation and absence of solidarity in a period of new negrophilia.
- The comedy film Malibu's Most Wanted is about a wigger from an upper-class family who is sent off to South Central Los Angeles by his fathers political advisors in the hope that being exposed to the crime and poverty in the area will "scare him white".
- Sacha Baron Cohen used his persona Ali G (whose registered name is Alistair Leslie Graham) to make fun of the then-emerging trend of white British youths unconvincingly impersonating the black lifestyle.
- Lauren Cooper, a character from The Catherine Tate Show is a white teenager who, along with her friends Ryan Perkins and Lisa Jackson, impersonates various aspects of the black lifestyle, including rapping, extensively listening to various black artists and groups e.g. Beyoncé, Black Eyed Peas saying various phrases popularised by black street culture e.g. "innit?", "is it?", "well fit" etc.  Archived 2007-10-18 at the Wayback Machine.
- Havoc (film), 2005
References[change | change source]
- Bernstein, Nell: "Goin' Gangsta, Choosin' Cholita", Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers, 5th ed. 605