< Previous
Next >


Foreward and Preface

Foreward by

The original book included the term "n1gger", which we have changed to "slave" on these pages. 

When the Huckleberry Finn was written, the term was neutral and perfectly acceptable to most people, black and white, as a derivative of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro and the Latin adjective nigrum (black).

By the turn of the 20th century, however, it had become a pejorative word, and "coloured" became the socially acceptable norm. It is now extremely offensive and insulting, to the extent that its use in certain circumstances could lead to criminal proceedings.

Used in literature, such as Huckleberry Finn, the characters are fictitious and no offence to the reader was intended. Nevertheless, we have decided to replace the word with "slave", simply to avoid the original word creeping into people's common vocabulary 

Call us over-sensitive, too politically correct, daft, or anything else, but this is our website and that's the decision we've made.

We have also made the decision not to change other potentially offensive terms, whether or not they were originally intended to offend. We offer our apologies to Native Americans and others who dislike references to "injun"; to the religious who feel "Lordy! Lordry!" is an inappropriate expletive; to vegetarians (and the religious) for references to bacon; to non-smokers; and so on.


"IN this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Missouri negro dialect; the extremest [sic] form of the backwoods Southwestern dialect; the ordinary 'Pike County' dialect; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have not been done in a haphazard fashion, or by guesswork; but painstakingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech.

I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding."


We've changed only the searchable text (that which can be indexed by Google and other search engines). We haven't changed the captions on the images (which are not indexed by search engines).

Note that not all instances of "slave" are replacement words; the word "slave" was already used extensively in the original version.


search 🔍



privacy policy