1. A secret weapon
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.
1. Team Captain: We're losing badly, what's the plan?
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.
When a caucasian has some negroid ancestory there is said to have been a Nigger in the Woodpile, usually said if the caucasian has some negroid traits like kinky hair.
That boys family must've had a nigger in the woodpile.
an unknown person who is the cause
of a problem, or is an obstacle to
solving a problem
"Bob won't even return my call... something else is going on here, must
be a nigger in the woodpile somewhere.
Suspicious activity. An uneasy feeling about something.
1)Unusual amount of money missing from your bank account would be a "Nigger in the woodpile".
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".
This metaphor refers to the solution to a puzzling problem. The context is that a hiding black slave would blend into the woodpile and wouldn't be noticed at first glance.
"Ah, now you've found the 'nigger in the woodpile.'"
A problem with a phone system.
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.
"Well, I tell ya...I can't seem to get the 2600 frequency to trunk. I reckon there's a nigger in the wood pile, boy."
someone who is going behind ones back to gain employment for another individual even though all parties involved seem to be friends
friend 1-"i think bill is going to lose his job anyway...so why not let me get joe hired on?"
friend 2-"if bill finds out that you got joe that job...he'll know you're the nigger in the woodpile for sure!!"
This is definitely one of those expressions that needs to be taken seriously and with the true roots in mind. It is not an expression that can change to suit OUR time. (Using the expression = bad, knowing it and philosophizing about it = good)
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.
Classic meaning: "Ever since the new boss has been here we've not known much about the company's restructuring, he's a nigger in the woodpile, I hope I'm not about to get fired!"
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."