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or golliwog

[gol-ee-wog] /ˈgɒl iˌwɒg/
noun, (sometimes initial capital letter)
a grotesque black doll.
a grotesque person.
Origin of golliwogg
First recorded in 1890-95; after the name of a doll in an illustrated series of children's books by Bertha Upton (died 1912), U.S. writer, and Florence Upton (died 1922), illustrator Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for golliwog
Historical Examples
  • She had left her golliwog in the room, and couldn't sleep without it.

    Happy Days Alan Alexander Milne
  • Corona, after holding the golliwog a moment in outstretched hands, strained it to her breast.

    Brother Copas

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • He proposed as she was wrapping up the fourth golliwog, and she gave him her heart and the parcel simultaneously.

    The Man Upstairs P. G. Wodehouse
  • She saw and appreciated the odd, golliwog charm of wide-apart eyes under high arch of brow.

    Winnie Childs C. N. Williamson
  • "I do not like that golliwog," breathed Mrs. Jasher to her host, when Cockatoo was at the sideboard.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • So after that everybody called the golliwog dog Tumbu, and the fluffy cat Down.

    The Adventures of Akbar Flora Annie Steel
  • Only in their case the golliwog was alive, and so all the more fearsome until experience had shown them its harmlessness.

British Dictionary definitions for golliwog


a soft doll with a black face, usually made of cloth or rags
Word Origin
C19: from the name of a doll character in children's books by Bertha Upton (died 1912), US writer, and Florence Upton (died 1922), US illustrator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for golliwog

"grotesque blackface doll," 1895, coined by English children's book author and illustrator Florence K. Upton (1873-1922), perhaps from golly + polliwog.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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