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n. pl. pick·a·nin·nies Offensive
Used as a disparaging term for a young black child.

[Of West Indian creole and African creole origin; akin to Jamaican Patwa picknie, Krio (English-based creole of Sierra Leone) pikin, and Tok Pisin pikinini, child, all from a Portuguese-based pidgin, from Portuguese pequenino, diminutive of pequeno, small, Spanish pequeñ:o and Italian piccino, small.]


n, pl -nies
a variant spelling (esp US) of piccaninny


or pic•a•nin•ny

(ˈpɪk əˌnɪn i)

n., pl. -nies.
usage: This term, though not usually used with disparaging intent, is perceived as highly insulting.
Older Use: Extremely Offensive. (a term used to refer to a black child.)
[1645–55; probably ultimately < Portuguese pequenino, diminutive of pequeno small; compare Jamaican Creole E pickney small child]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pickaninny - (ethnic slur) offensive term for a Black child
derogation, disparagement, depreciation - a communication that belittles somebody or something
ethnic slur - a slur on someone's race or language
Black person, blackamoor, Negro, Negroid, Black - a person with dark skin who comes from Africa (or whose ancestors came from Africa)
child, kid, minor, nipper, tiddler, youngster, tike, shaver, small fry, nestling, fry, tyke - a young person of either sex; "she writes books for children"; "they're just kids"; "`tiddler' is a British term for youngster"
References in classic literature ?
Maybe one fella boy hear 'm pickaninny dog sing out, I give
What name you fella boy make 'm pickaninny dog belong along me walk about along water?
If Miss d'Arnault stopped practising for a moment and went toward the window, she saw this hideous little pickaninny, dressed in an old piece of sacking, standing in the open space between the hollyhock rows, his body rocking automatically, his blind face lifted to the sun and wearing an expression of idiotic rapture.
At such times the hush of death falls on the village, and not even a pickaninny dares make a noise.
6) Las imagenes caricaturescas del Peru que componen nuestro corpus dialogan en terminos formales con estas representaciones visuales, asi como tambien con las connotaciones y roles asignados a estos personajes, siendo posible encontrar referencias a tres de los estereotipos norteamericanos mas comunes: el coon, la mammy y el pickaninny.
Uncle Tom (the faithful servant) and Pickaninny children (or little Negro children) were also discussed on several occasions.
She begins by arguing that a hierarchy of pain divided black and white childhood in the nineteenth century, creating an opposition between the innocent (white) child who must be shielded from the harshness of life and the pickaninny who is somehow insensate to slings and arrows.
Pickaninny characters, Bernstein implies, are liminal figures, unidentifiable because they do not suffer like either their black adult or white child counterparts do.
A proposito, ha outra expressao em ingles, pickaninny, para se referir a uma crianca pequena negra, que vem do portugues "pequenino.
The story ends tragically for its main character, a pattern that repeats itself in every story in the collection, with the exception of "Sis' Becky's Pickaninny.
Finally, Nat seethes with anger as he looks up at the window of the big house, seeing the white couple putting their children to sleep (one of the children even has a pickaninny doll clutched in her arms).
Bessie Smith "helped me to dig back to the way I myself must have spoken when I was a pickaninny, and to remember the things I had heard and seen and felt.