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Alternative forms[edit]


black +‎ fellow


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈblakfɛləʊ/
  • (file)


blackfellow (plural blackfellows)

  1. (Australia, now usually considered offensive) A (male) Australian Aborigine. [from 19th c.]
    • 1985, Peter Carey, Illywhacker, Faber & Faber 2003, p. 40:
      He was squatting on the ground like a blackfellow, quiet and still and cunning.
    • 2000, Daryl Tonkin, Carolyn Landon, Jackson's Track: Memoir of a Dreamtime Place, page 256,
      It was as if the blackfellas were their property, and the Board could do with them as they saw fit.
    • 2002, James Roberts, At the Bar, in Rebekah Clarkson (editor), Forked Tongues: A Delicious Anthology of Poetry and Prose, page 29,
      A blackfella and a whitefella are sitting at the bar. The whitefella says to the blackfella eh boss, whadya reckon?
      The blackfella says since you ask, I consider it a metaphor of the historic case of the Coorong massacre of 1840.
    • 2007, Noel Olive, Enough is Enough: A History of the Pilbara Mob[1], page 212:
      Most police officers had no blackfella cultural background, no knowledge of Aboriginal priorities in life, yet they were the power in the town.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The word has been reclaimed to some extent by aborigines to describe themselves, but its use by other groups is now usually considered racially offensive.

Coordinate terms[edit]