schvartze

schvartze

[shvahr-tsuh; English shvahrt-suh]
noun Yiddish: Often Disparaging and Offensive.
a black person.
Also, shvartze.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

schvartze
"black person" (somewhat derogatory), 1961, from Yiddish, from schvarts "black" (see swarthy). Perhaps originally a code word to refer to black servants when they were within earshot, as Ger. cognate Schwarze apparently was in the mid-19c.:
"In Baltimore in the 80s of the last century, the German-speaking householders, when they had occasion to speak of Negro servants in their presence, called them die Blaue (blues). In the 70s die Schwartze (blacks) had been used, but it was believed that the Negroes had fathomed it." [H.L. Mencken, "The American Language," Supplement I, 1945]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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