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90s Slang You Should Know


[ok-tuh-roon] /ˌɒk təˈrun/
noun, Older Use: Offensive.
a person having one-eighth black ancestry, with one black great-grandparent; the offspring of a quadroon and a white person.
Origin of octoroon
An Americanism dating back to 1855-60; octo- + (quad)roon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for octoroon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In North America a mulatto, a quadroon, even an octoroon who is only one-eighth black, counts as a negro.

  • The engineer at once relinquished his hold on the octoroon, and stood up.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • Your father has just told me that I am a negress—my mother is an octoroon!

    The Sins of the Father Thomas Dixon
  • The octoroon struggled to escape, but the mate and Buck held him tight.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • The intrigue with the octoroon woman, Suzanne, came after that.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square Melville Davisson Post
  • Until the stranger was close upon the octoroon, I had not seen him.

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • The circumstance showed the powerful influence held over him by the octoroon woman.

    Among the Pines James R. Gilmore
  • There was the fire in Theatre Royal, after the play of the "octoroon."

  • The octoroon's imprisonment came to an end on the third day after Tump's death.

    Birthright T.S. Stribling
British Dictionary definitions for octoroon


a person having one quadroon and one White parent and therefore having one-eighth Black blood Compare quadroon
Word Origin
C19: octo- + -roon as in quadroon
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 octoroon

1861, irregular formation from Latin octo "eight" (see eight) + suffix abstracted from quadroon (in which the suffix actually is -oon). Offspring of a quadroon and a white; so called for having one-eighth Negro blood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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