[ oh-fey ]
/ ˈoʊ feɪ /

noun Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.

a contemptuous term used to refer to a white person.
Also fay.

Origin of ofay

1920–25, Americanism; of obscure origin; the popular notion that the word is a Pig Latin deformation of foe is very dubious
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for ofays


/ (ˈəʊfeɪ) /


US slang a derogatory term for a White person

Word Origin for ofay

C20: origin unknown
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 ofays



American English black slang, "white person," 1925, of unknown origin. If, as is sometimes claimed, it derives from an African word, none corresponding to it has been found. Perhaps the most plausible speculation is Yoruba ófé "to disappear" (as from a powerful enemy), with the sense transferred from the word of self-protection to the source of the threat. OED regards the main alternative theory, that it is pig Latin for foe, to be no more than an "implausible guess."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper