darkey

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

dark +‎ -ey

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

darkey (plural darkeys)

  1. (dated slang, offensive, ethnic slur) A person with dark skin.
    • 1855, Frederick Douglass, chapter 3, in My Bondage and My Freedom, New York: Miller, Orton and Mulligan:
      The windmill under the care of Mr. Kinney, a kind hearted old Englishman, was to me a source of infinite interest and pleasure. The old man always seemed pleased when he saw a troop of darkey little urchins, with their tow-linen shirts fluttering in the breeze, approaching to view and admire the whirling wings of his wondrous machine.
    • 1865 August 7, Jordan Anderson, "To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson", republished in the New York Daily Tribune:
      Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master.
  2. (slang, obsolete) A dark lantern.

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