Word Origin and History for patrick victor martindale white
O.E. hwit, from P.Gmc. *khwitaz (cf. O.S., O.Fris. hwit, O.N. hvitr, Du. wit, O.H.G. hwiz, Ger. weiß, Goth. hveits), from PIE *kwintos/*kwindos "bright" (cf. Skt. svetah "white;" O.C.S. sviteti "to shine," svetu "light;" Lith. sviesti "to shine," svaityti "to brighten"). As a surname, originally with reference to fair hair or complexion, it is one of the oldest in Eng., being well-established before the Conquest. Meaning "morally pure" was in O.E. Association with royalist causes is late 18c. Slang sense of "honorable, fair" is 1877, Amer.Eng. The racial sense (adj.) of "of those races (chiefly European or of European extraction) characterized by light complexion" is first recorded 1604. The noun in this sense ("white man, person of a race distinguished by light complexion") is from 1671; whitey in this sense is recorded from 1828. White supremacy attested from 1902; white flight is from 1967. White heat "state of intense or extreme emotion" first recorded 1839. White lie is attested from 1741. White Christmas is attested from 1857. White-collar is from 1919, first attested in Upton Sinclair. White House at the U.S. presidential residence is recorded from 1811. White water "river rapids" is recorded from 1586. White Russian "language of Byelorussia" is recorded from 1850; the mixed drink is from c.1978.