or whit·y

[hwahy-tee, wahy-]

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.

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

Contemporary Examples of whitey

Historical Examples of whitey

  • They were old Whitey's, for he had a broken shoe on his left hind foot.

  • They were old Whitey's, who had a broken shoe on his left hind foot.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin

  • Then we unpacks them suitcases of Whitey's and distributes the things.

  • And it was up to Whitey to bring him back into the public eye, wasn't it?

    Torchy and Vee

    Sewell Ford

  • Why on earth couldn't this tortoise have been left to that work and old Whitey given to us?

    Under Fire

    Charles King

British Dictionary definitions for whitey




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