pickaninny

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably from a Portuguese pidgin, from Portuguese pequenino(boy, child), noun use of pequenino(tiny). In South African uses probably partly after Afrikaans pikenien.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pickaninny ‎(plural pickaninnies)

  1. (colloquial, now offensive) A black child. [from 17th c.]
    • 1952, Doris Lessing, Martha Quest, Panther 1974, p. 134:
      A small white donkey glimmered into sight, and behind it a milk cart, rattling its cans, and behind that ran a small and ragged piccaninny, a child of perhaps seven years, whose teeth were rattling so loudly they sounded like falling pebbles even across the width of the garden.

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Adjective[edit]

pickaninny ‎(not comparable)

  1. (now rare) Little, small. [from 18th c.]

References[edit]

  • Ernest Giles, Australia Twice Traversed (1889) (confirms that the adjective meaning "little" is used in Australia)