Contents

EnglishEdit

 
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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

Probably from a Portuguese pidgin, from Portuguese pequenino(boy, child), noun use of pequenino(tiny). In South African uses probably partly after Afrikaans pikenien.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

pickaninny ‎(plural pickaninnies)

  1. (colloquial, now offensive) A black child. [from 17th c.]
    • 1952, Doris Lessing, Martha Quest, Panther 1974, p. 134:
      A small white donkey glimmered into sight, and behind it a milk cart, rattling its cans, and behind that ran a small and ragged piccaninny, a child of perhaps seven years, whose teeth were rattling so loudly they sounded like falling pebbles even across the width of the garden.
    • 1978, André Brink, Rumours of Rain, Vintage 2000, p. 57:
      And then one boy came back into the water to help me, a Black piccanin, I believe his name was Mpilo […].

TranslationsEdit

Derived termsEdit

DescendantsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

pickaninny ‎(not comparable)

  1. (now rare) Little, small. [from 18th c.]

ReferencesEdit

  • Ernest Giles, Australia Twice Traversed (1889) (confirms that the adjective meaning "little" is used in Australia)