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fuzzy-wuzzy

/ (ˈfʌzɪˌwʌzɪ) /
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noun plural -wuzzies or -wuzzy
archaic, offensive, slang a Black fuzzy-haired native of any of various countries
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Words nearby fuzzy-wuzzy

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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More context on fuzzy-wuzzy

Fuzzy-wuzzy was a bear? Not even close.

Fuzzy-wuzzy was a racist slur for Black people (as from Africa, Australia, or Papua New Guinea), stereotyped for their hair texture. British soldiers used the slur in the 1800s. Fuzzy-wuzzy was then used in a nursery rhyme and in a Rudyard Kipling poem, both of which apparently helped popularize the term.

Today, fuzzy-wuzzy is used as cutesy talk, in the form of a baby-talk reduplication. But remember that fuzzy-wuzzy, especially used as a noun and not an adjective, has a painful, racist past.

If knowing the history of fuzzy-wuzzy has got you reflecting on your word choices, this slideshow, “These Common Words Have Offensive Histories,” discusses many other words whose place in your vocab you may want to reconsider. 

Keep in mind …

There are plenty of other adjectives you can use instead of fuzzy-wuzzy if you want to describe something as, well, fuzzy. In fact, plain, old fuzzy works just fine. You can also consider synonyms for fuzzy, including furry, hairy, wooly, and frizzy. Visit Thesaurus.com for more.

If you want to refer to an object that is cute and fuzzy, perhaps fuzzball or ball of fuzz will work. Or, fur ball, pile of fluff—don’t be afraid to get creative.

How to use fuzzy-wuzzy in a sentence

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