Renig is a common way to misspell “renege”, which means to renegotiate something, or to change your mind about something.
It also refers to the act of breaking a commitment or promise.
The word doesn’t originally have to do anything with race, but some started using it as a racial slur, suggesting that people of colour often behave in the way that the word is defined.
They had also misinterpreted “nig” in “renig” as short for the racist N-word.
In some around-the-clock businesses such as McDonalds, it is the term for a shift-change – also referring to black people swapping shifts.
Origin of the term
The original, grammatically correct word “renege” was recorded as far back as the 1500’s, where it meant to “renounce” or “abandon”.
It is derived from Latin “negare”, meaning “to deny”.
From the 1600’s, it was associated with card games, referring to the inability to follow suits in trump games.
Spread of the term
During the 2012 presidential campaign when Barack Obama was eventually re-elected, people supporting his competition started the slogan “Don’t “renig” in 2012!”
A guest comedian on the talk-show Conan pointed out the irony and accidental pro-Obama campaigning in the slogan, as they are ultimately saying “Don’t back out in 2012!”.