Green’s Dictionary of Slang

darkie adj.

also darkey, darky

(US) a derog. ref.; pertaining to black people or culture.

[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers (1880) 19: I’d an idee thet they [i.e. Mexicans] were built arter the darkie fashion.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 13 Aug. 2/7: Darkie Ken. Donald McKenzie, an ogre-like Negro, of the dirtiest black colour imaginable.
[US]C. Abbey diary 25 Jan. in Gosnell Before the Mast (1989) 170: It led me into a large room [...] with a Darky fiddler at one end.
[UK]G.A. Sala My Diary in America II 271: The white nigger ‘serenaders’ or minstrels seem, however, to have mastered the utmost niceties of darkey pronunciation.
[US] ‘Nellie Was A Lady’ in C. Elliot Songs of Yale 115: Toll the bell for lubly Nell, my darkey bride.
[US]W.H. Thomes Slaver’s Adventures 35: We selected a keg of tobacco as the next most acceptable present for our darky friends.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 9 Oct. 8/2: Uncle Tom and the Octaroon, with darkie business, are played out, even in Sleepy Hollow.
[UK]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 29 Sept. 7/4: I neared the ‘rest’ on which my once ‘darkie’ wife was seated when I met her.
[[UK]A. Griffiths Fast and Loose III 199: A real darkey-driver, had to do with niggers somewhere, and he kept us at it [...] till we hadn’t an ounce of flesh left amongst the lot of us].
[US]Uncle Daniel’s Story of ‘Tom’ Anderson 84: He laughed a regular darky laugh.
[US] in H.T. Sampson Ghost Walks (1988) 58: That rollicking joyousness which bubbles over in the darky nature.
[US]P.L. Dunbar ‘Deserted Plantation’ in Lyrics of Lowly Life 160: Whah’s ole Tom de da’ky fiddlah, how’ he farin’?
[US]W.F. Drannan Thirty-One Years on the Plains and in the Mountains (1903) 211: We had plenty of shelter, having two good sized tents in the outfit and only six men, not counting the darkey cook.
[US]A. Adams Log of a Cowboy 227: Slaughter’s darky cook.
[US]James Weldon Johnson Autobiog. of an Ex-Coloured Man (1927) 107: It was made up of variety performers and others who delineated ‘darky characters’.
[US]T. Dreiser in Riggio Diaries (1982) 232: New darkie cleaner comes, a crusty soul.
[UK]A. Brazil Madcap of the School 251: They [...] were capering in most approved darky fashion.
[US]E. Walrond Tropic Death (1972) 61: All this edgy, snappy, darky talk.
[US](con. 1900s) S. Lewis Elmer Gantry 209: He tried to live up to the Falconer Family, an Old Mansion, and Darky Mammies.
[US]E. Clark Innocence Abroad 134: Campaspe picks up Waldo Frank’s Dark Mother under the impression (according to Carl!) that it was called ‘Darkey Mothers’.
[US]L.E. Lawes Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing 222: I suddenly thought of a ‘darkey’ story. just a little off-colour.
[US] ‘Darky Sunday School’ in Lomax & Lomax Amer. Ballads and Folk Songs 351: Young folks, old folks, everybody come, / Join our darky Sunday School, and make yourself to hum.
[UK]J. Franklyn This Gutter Life 41: ‘But tell me Jerry – those darkie girls?’ ‘Prostitutes!’.
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Caught (2001) 108: Oh look at that couple, darling [...] dancing over by the darkie waiter.
[US]K. Lumpkin Making of a Southerner 190: The only time we ever said ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Mr.’ was in telling a ‘darkey joke’.
[US]S. Lewis Kingsblood Royal (2001) 144: I think all these darky waiters mean well.
[US]Z.N. Hurston Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 782: Getting so it’s not considered just darky music and dancing nowadays.
[US]H. Ellison ‘Daniel White for the Greater Good’ in Gentleman Junkie 37: Darkie rabble-rousers from New Jersey and Illinois.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 103: She’s that nun who stools for them two darky dicks.
[US]S. Longstreet Straw Boss (1979) 321: Ol’ Dick was at his best, told some grand darky stories.
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 194: His darkey routine. The rolling whites of the eyes; the deep red of the inner lips.
[Aus](con. 1945–6) P. Doyle Devil’s Jump (2008) 27: Hell, it’s [i.e. a zoot suit] all darkie wear anyway.