- a term used to refer to a black person.
Origin of 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 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 darky
I drove Darky into a shed, and amused myself by looking around the premises.
I warmed my fingers a little at the stove, and then went out to take care of Darky.
I gave Darky some hay, and then left my sanctuary, without knowing where I was going.
Down cellar, under the Bed, in the Darky's grip or anywhere.
Darky had written an ode to the man who founded this class of lodging-house, and had received personal thanks.Beggars
W. H. (William Henry) Davies
darkie or darkey
- 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
Word Origin and History for darky
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper