pickaninny

noun
pick·​a·​nin·​ny | \ ˈpi-kə-ˌni-nē How to pronounce pickaninny (audio) , ˌpi-kə-ˈni- \
variants: or picaninny
plural pickaninnies or picaninnies

Definition of pickaninny

dated, now offensive
used as a term for a black child

First Known Use of pickaninny

1653, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pickaninny

probably ultimately from Portuguese pequenino, diminutive of pequeno small

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pickaninny

Time Traveler for pickaninny

Time Traveler

The first known use of pickaninny was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pickaninny

Cite this Entry

“Pickaninny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickaninny. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!