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darkie

[dahr-kee]
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noun
  1. darky.
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darky

or dark·ie

[dahr-kee]
noun, plural dark·ies. Older Use: Now Offensive.
  1. a term used to refer to a black person.
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Origin of darky

First recorded in 1765–75; dark + -y2

Usage note

The earliest uses of darky in English were sentimental, probably affectionate in intent, although it is likely that even then, those who were addressed or referred to by the term found it patronizing. For example, the lyrics of Stephen Foster's song My Old Kentucky Home (1853) refer with nostalgia to happy darkies. But by the early part of the 20th century, the term had became increasingly offensive and unacceptable. Current versions of the Foster lyrics refer instead to “people.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for darkie

Historical Examples

  • Darkie was my special pet, and, apart from that, she was the best pony on the ranch.

    A harum-scarum schoolgirl

    Angela Brazil

  • I just ran to Darkie and untied her, and took her by the bridle.

  • My master said, "Good-by, Darkie; be a good horse, and always do your best."

    Black Beauty

    Anna Sewell

  • Darkie was on the card, but no one seemed to know where he was or anything about him.

    Robbery Under Arms

    Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood

  • As they went away one of the ringmen says, 'Ten to one against Darkie.

    Robbery Under Arms

    Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood


British Dictionary definitions for darkie

darky

darkie or darkey

noun plural darkies or darkeys informal
  1. an offensive word for a Black person
  2. Australian an offensive word for a native Australian
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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

Word Origin and History for darkie

darky

n.

"black person" (now offensive), 1775, from dark (adj.) + -y (3). Related: Darkies.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper