2. An unsure circumstance in a given situation
This phrase was used, although not widely, in the 60's and has made a comeback in white supremacist groups recently.
Basketball Coach: Well, they seem to know all of our plays. Let's have "Too Tall" run the #2 pick and roll with "Tiny"
Team Captain: Damn, we've practised all season, no we're finally gonna use the nigger in the woodpile.
2. I've seen the flop, the bend, and the river, and i like my pocket 10's, but something tells me he's got niggers in the woodpile...I fold.
2)Your significant other has mysteriously "learned" new sexual positions...Once again a, good example of "Nigger in the woodpile".
3)You cant find your pet bird, but there are yellow feathers in the cat's shit box. This is most certainly a "Nigger in the woodpile".
The expression was coined by a pioneer for phone technicians and was carried on through apprentices and journymen. Today it is used in limited numbers among veteran phone technicians.
friend 2-"if bill finds out that you got joe that job...he'll know you're the nigger in the woodpile for sure!!"
A formal definition: "a concealed motive or unknown factor affecting a situation in an adverse way." Or simply: "something suspicious or wrong."
Add this: Quite possibly during the Underground Railroad, assuming we're together on this that it was a good thing to help free slaves, a "nigger in the woodpile" was a good because they were in a hiding place because bad folks were about- There's no need to hide if all around were good people, supporting the Underground Railroad and its sympathizers!!! Soooooo, better to be in the woodpile than shackles! ...this complicates the meaning of the term, but good to think about.
My theoretical meaning: "The new boss is a fucking asshole, I'm glad the human resource person is full of integrity, I know those of us who are good workers will be fine- we're like niggers in a woodpile around that asshole."