schvartze

[ shvahr-tsuh; English shvahrt-suh ]
/ ˈʃvɑr tsə; English ˈʃvɑrt sə /

noun Yiddish: Usually Disparaging and Offensive.

a term used by some Jewish people to refer to a Black person.

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Also shvartz·e [shvahr-tsuh; English shvahr-tsuh], /ˈʃvɑr tsə; English ˈʃvɑr tsə/, schvartz·er [shvahr-tsuhr; English shvahr-tser] /ˈʃvɑr tsər; English ˈʃvɑr tsər/ .

Origin of schvartze

First recorded in 1960–65; from Yiddish shvarts “black”; compare German schwartz

usage note for schvartze

Schvartze was used through the 1960s (and even later by the older generation) to refer specifically to a Black housekeeper or servant. The term was not always used contemptuously; in fact, the Yiddish noun is derived from a merely descriptive adjective meaning "black" (German schwarz ). However, schvartze has been categorized by some as an inside “code word,” a less transparent equivalent of nigger, and so the term has fallen into disrepute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021