piccaninny

piccaninny

[pik-uh-nin-ee]
noun, plural piccaninnies.

Origin:
1650–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
piccaninny or esp (US) pickaninny (ˌpɪkəˈnɪnɪ)
 
n , pl -nies
1.  offensive a small Black or Aboriginal child
2.  (modifier) tiny: a piccaninny fire won't last long
 
[C17: perhaps from Portuguese pequenino tiny one, from pequeno small]
 
pickaninny or esp (US) pickaninny
 
n
 
[C17: perhaps from Portuguese pequenino tiny one, from pequeno small]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

piccaninny
1657, from W. Indies patois, from Sp. pequeño or Port. pequeno "little, small." As late as 1836 applied affectionately to any small child or baby, regardless of race.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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