A word that can be used to describe many people from all walks of life has now become so long-leged that its definition is now being used by law enforcement and the courts to fight crime.

The term nigger was first used by the African American suffragist Emma Lazarus in 1859, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines nigger as “one who has the complexion of a negro”.

Nigger itself is a derogatory term, meaning “black”, according to dictionary.com, which added it to the list of banned words in 2016.

The Oxford English dictionary added the term nigga to its banned words list last year to prevent it from being used to refer to blacks, according the Huffington Post.

But it’s not just the niggas who are getting longed for a fight.

In January, an unnamed white man in Georgia was sentenced to life in prison for killing a 17-year-old black girl by shooting her in the head with a handgun.

“Nigger’s been a very big word over the years, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it used in a legal sense in a very long time,” said the unnamed white defendant, who said he would appeal the conviction, according a video posted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The word has also become the focus of an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which said it is “extremely unlikely” that anyone has used it in the last five years.

A man who said they used the word on the air during the 2016 presidential election is appealing the conviction on the grounds that it is a racial slur, according CNN.

The man said they wanted to highlight the use of the word by Donald Trump, who used the phrase on a number of occasions.

But some experts have suggested the term has been used in ways that may not be racist.

According to the National Coalition Against Racist Racism, the word has been employed to describe people who were “black, brown, black, brown skinned, white, white skinned”.

“It was used to insult people who looked different,” the group said in a statement.

“Black people have been using this word for centuries and still do.

Black people still have the word in our lexicon.”

But the NCAAR says it has no data to back up its claim.

In 2015, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said it had “no data” to support the use in its lexicon of nigger, according Reuters.

And the National Congress of American Indians said the term is “not the first or the last time we have used the term to describe a person of color”.

“This word is used by many, but it has nothing to do with racism,” the tribe said in its statement.

It also said the word should not be used in derogatory ways.

“The use of this word is racist and should be avoided at all costs,” the organisation said.

The NCAARS statement also warned that nigger could be used by some people to refer “anyone of any colour”.

“A person who uses this word or any other racist, derogatory, dehumanising, offensive, degrading, offensive word, may have used this word to refer or associate with an individual of any color,” it said.

“In some instances, using nigger may be used for a variety of reasons and we have no data on its use in general.”

The BBC has contacted the NAAIR for comment on the NCCAR statement.

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