Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


or darkie

[dahr-kee] /ˈdɑr ki/
noun, plural darkies. Older Use: Now Offensive.
a term used to refer to a black person.
Origin of darky
1765-75; dark + -y2
Usage note
The earliest uses of darky in English were sentimental, probably affectionate in intent, although it is likely that even then, those who were addressed or referred to by the term found it patronizing. For example, the lyrics of Stephen Foster's song My Old Kentucky Home (1853) refer with nostalgia to happy darkies. But by the early part of the 20th century, the term had became increasingly offensive and unacceptable. Current versions of the Foster lyrics refer instead to “people.” Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for darky
Historical Examples
  • Roake and Humfrey with little "darky," who was their invariable companion, were always welcome.

    At Ypres with Best-Dunkley Thomas Hope Floyd
  • I drove darky into a shed, and amused myself by looking around the premises.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
  • Down cellar, under the Bed, in the darky's grip or anywhere.

  • I warmed my fingers a little at the stove, and then went out to take care of darky.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
  • darky have to take what the white folks leave fo em and be glad he's livin.

    Slave Narratives: Arkansas Narratives Work Projects Administration
  • In our literature and on the stage, the very idea of a darky and a graveyard is mirth-provoking.

  • darky had written an ode to the man who founded this class of lodging-house, and had received personal thanks.

    Beggars W. H. (William Henry) Davies
  • I gave darky some hay, and then left my sanctuary, without knowing where I was going.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for darky


noun (informal) (pl) darkies, darkeys
an offensive word for a Black person
(Austral) an offensive word for a native Australian
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for darky

"black person" (now offensive), 1775, from dark (adj.) + -y (3). Related: Darkies.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for darky



A black person (1775+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for darky

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for darky

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for darky