pickaninny

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

Definition of pickaninny

dated, 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 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!