Origin of niggardMiddle English negarde, probably from Scand, as in Old Norse hnøggr, Norwegian dialect, dialectal nøgg, afraid, stingy from Indo-European base an unverified form kneu- (var. of an unverified form ken-, to scrape) from source Old English hneaw, sparse, stingy
Origin of niggardMiddle English nigard perhaps from nig stingy person of Scandinavian origin
(comparative more niggard, superlative most niggard)
- This word is unrelated to the racial epithet nigger (a corruption of the Spanish word negro (“black")), but some in the United States have taken offense at the word's use due to the phonetic similarity between the words.
From Middle English nigard, nygard (“miser"), equivalent to nig +"Ž -ard.