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See also: Blackamoor


Alternative forms[edit]


From earlier blackmoor, equivalent to black +‎ Moor.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈblæk.əˌmɔː/, /ˈblæk.əˌmɔːɹ/, /ˈblæk.əˌmʊə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈblæk.əˌmɔɹ/, /ˈblæk.əˌmʊɹ/


blackamoor (plural blackamoors)

  1. (archaic, old heraldry, often offensive) A person with dark black skin, especially one from north Africa.
    Argent, three blackamoors’ heads couped sable, capped or, fretty gules.
    • 1886 October – 1887 January, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., published 1887, →OCLC:
      `Well, Job,' I said, `perhaps it would be as well. There are lots of blankets there, only be careful to keep out of the moon, or it may turn your head or blind you.' `Lord, sir! I don't think it would much matter if it did; it is that turned already with the sight of these blackamoors and their filthy, thieving ways.'
    • 1935, T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral, Part II:
      Go venture shipwreck on the sullen coasts
      Where blackamoors make captive Christian men ...
    • 2003, Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn, Beethoven: Revealing His True Identity[1]:
      "What!" exclaimed the Prince, "the music is by the blackamoor (a black Moor). Well, my fine blackamoor, henceforth thou art in my service."
    • 2002, Barbara Hewson, An English Bar Disciplinary Tribunal went over the top when dealing with a racial harassment case.[2]:
      What had Pringle done to merit such a severe penalty? He had said to Adusei during a criminal trial, "How's the blackamoor?". The Tribunal found that this was offensive, which clearly it was, and constituted an act of racial discrimination.
    • 1958, Maurice W. Connell, The Prophet Said Silk ([3]), citing Thomas Gage's Travels in the New World, J. Eric S. Thompson (editor), page 73
      Gage noted the clothing of the slaves of the Spanish nobles, and silk was common to them. "The gentlemen have their train of blackamoor slaves, some a dozen, some half a dozen, waiting on them, in brave and gallant liveries, heavy with gold and silver lace, with silk stockings on their black legs, and roses on their feet, and swords by their sides."
  2. A blackamoor slave, a blackamoor servant; and hence any slave, servant, inferior, or child.
    • 1893, Annotation to The Diary of Samuel Pepys by "Mary", [4] citing Restoration London, Liza Picard, pages 178-179.
      In 1596 Elizabeth I had already decreed that all "blackamoors" should be sent back to Spain or Portugal as they were disturbing local labour markets. It became very fashionable for the wealthy to have "blackamoor" page boys and personal servants, as their complexions set off the pale-skinned beauty of the women of the family.
    • 1999, Doug Davis, Lost Girl[5], archived from the original on 2005-02-04:
      She seems to have been a serious girl, but she remembered her father's characterization of her as his "Little blackamoor."


Derived terms[edit]