Mike Lieber (U28550@UICVM.BITNET)
Sat, 31 Dec 1994 16:02:25 CST

I am not sure how Lief managed to get a racial term as a meaning of the word,
denigrate. Indeed the word comes from the Latin root niger through the
French usage of the 14th century meaning 'to blacken,' referring to reputation,
(syn. to sully) and 'to darken' referring to ambiguating that which is clear.
It seems that by the 18th century the word had become a fossil in English
speaking countries but was revived during the 19th century. The Oxford
English Dictionary does not list denigrate as a racial term, nor have I ever
heard or read of the term being used in this way other than in Lief's post.
If there are sources with this usage, I for one would like to know of them.
Bibliography anyone?
Mike Lieber