or dark·ie

[ dahr-kee ]
/ ˈdɑr ki /
Save This Word!

noun, plural dark·ies.Older Use: Now Offensive.
a term used to refer to a Black person.
There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Origin of darky

First recorded in 1765–75; dark + -y2

usage note for darky

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 become 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. 2023

How to use darky in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for darky


darkie or darkey

/ (ˈdɑːkɪ) /

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