or whit·y

[ hwahy-tee, wahy- ]
/ ˈʰwaɪ ti, ˈwaɪ- /

noun, plural whit·eys. (sometimes initial capital letter) Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.

a contemptuous term used by black people to refer to a white person or white people collectively.

Nearby words

  1. whitewash,
  2. whitewater,
  3. whitewater rafting,
  4. whitewing,
  5. whitewood,
  6. whitgift,
  7. whither,
  8. whither thou goest, i will go,
  9. whithersoever,
  10. whitherward

Origin of whitey

First recorded in 1820–30; white + -ey2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whitey

  • Some eight or ten years ago he was popularly known hereabouts as 'Whitey' Mills.

    Behind the Line|Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for whitey



/ (ˈwaɪtɪ) /


mainly US (used contemptuously by Black people) a White man
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 whitey



"'white' person, person of European descent," by 1830 (of a white horse by 1828), from white (adj.) + -y (2) and -y (3). Earlier as an adjective, and Whitey-brown was a 19c. descriptive color name, used to describe, among other things, mulatto skin.

Blackey will overreach if he finds an opportunity; but the probability is, that his rogueries are often but apt imitations of Mr. Whitey, who would fain always be thought to be a pattern of honesty. [Capt. Hugh Crow, "Memoirs," London, 1830]

Negro troops doing provost duty in Norfolk; keeping the white people in order. On a visit to Norfolk one can see white Southerners, arrested for sundry misdemeanors, working on the public streets, under negro guards. ... It is quite a change to see, in Norfolk, negroes forcing white men to work, at the point of the bayonet; calling out to them: "No loaf'n dar!" "Move quicker, Sah!" "Hurry up dar, Old Whitey!" and similar orders. Tables turned! [diary of Lieut. S. Millett Thompson, 13th New Hampshire Volunteer regiment, U.S. Army, Jan. 25, 1864; diary published 1888 by Houghton, Mifflin & Co.]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper