Origin of niger
- From earlier niger seed probably after the Niger River in West Africa, where it is widely grown
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Frequently misidentified as derived from the Latin niger (“black"), Niger is derived from a series of mistranslations and geographic misplacements by Greek, Roman and Arab geographers, likely originally from Ptolomey's descriptions of the valley Gir (a wadi in modern Algeria), and the "Lower Gir" ("Ni-Gir") to the south. In one local Berber language, "gher" means "watercourse", and thus may have been derived from Berber tales of large river south of the Sahara desert.