or gol·li·wog


noun (sometimes initial capital letter)

a grotesque black doll.
a grotesque person.

Origin of golliwogg

First recorded in 1890–95; after the name of a doll in an illustrated series of children's books by Bertha Upton (died 1912), U.S. writer, and Florence Upton (died 1922), illustrator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for golliwog

Historical Examples of golliwog

  • She had left her golliwog in the room, and couldn't sleep without it.

    Happy Days

    Alan Alexander Milne

  • Corona, after holding the Golliwog a moment in outstretched hands, strained it to her breast.

    Brother Copas

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • He proposed as she was wrapping up the fourth golliwog, and she gave him her heart and the parcel simultaneously.

    The Man Upstairs

    P. G. Wodehouse

  • She saw and appreciated the odd, golliwog charm of wide-apart eyes under high arch of brow.

    Winnie Childs

    C. N. Williamson

  • "I do not like that Golliwog," breathed Mrs. Jasher to her host, when Cockatoo was at the sideboard.

    The Green Mummy

    Fergus Hume

British Dictionary definitions for golliwog




a soft doll with a black face, usually made of cloth or rags

Word Origin for golliwog

C19: from the name of a doll character in children's books by Bertha Upton (died 1912), US writer, and Florence Upton (died 1922), US illustrator
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 golliwog

"grotesque blackface doll," 1895, coined by English children's book author and illustrator Florence K. Upton (1873-1922), perhaps from golly + polliwog.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper