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[shvahr-tsuh; English shvahrt-suh] /ˈʃvɑr tsə; English ˈʃvɑrt sə/
noun, Yiddish: Often Disparaging.
a term used by some Jewish people to refer to a black person.
Also, shvartze, schvartzer
[shvahr-tsuh r; English shvahr-tser] /ˈʃvɑr tsər; English ˈʃvɑr tsər/ (Show IPA)
Usage note
Schvartze was used through the 1960s (and even later by the older generation) to refer specifically to a black housekeeper or servant. The term was not always used contemptuously; in fact, the Yiddish noun is derived from a merely descriptive adjective meaning "black" (German schwarz). However, schvartze has been categorized by some as an inside “code word,” a less transparent equivalent of nigger, and so the term has fallen into disrepute. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Word Origin and History for schvartze

also schvartzer, "black person" (somewhat derogatory), 1961, Yiddish, from schvarts "black" (see swarthy). Perhaps originally a code word to refer to black servants when they were within earshot, as German cognate Schwarze appears to have been used mid-19c.:

In Baltimore in the 80s of the last century, the German-speaking householders, when they had occasion to speak of Negro servants in their presence, called them die Blaue (blues). In the 70s die Schwartze (blacks) had been used, but it was believed that the Negroes had fathomed it. [H.L. Mencken, "The American Language," Supplement I, 1945]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for schvartze



(also shvartzeh or shvartze or schwartze or schvartzer or shvartzer or schwartzer) A black person: irons even better than the schvartze/ A shwartze. Some wife killer who'd faked it

[1961+; fr Yiddish fr shvartz, ''black'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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