Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lilywhite n.

1. (also lilly white) a chimney-sweep [a heavy joke at the expense of the soot-blackened sweep].

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Lilly-white, c. a Chimney-sweeper.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Lilly white, chimney sweeper.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress xviii: ‘the Lily-white,’ [...] The Flash term for a negro; and also for a chimney-sweeper.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Mirror 16: Vy how red you looks at it, my lillivite — how nicely you got down the chimney.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]E. de la Bédollière Londres et les Anglais 316/1: lily white, ramoneur de cheminées.
[UK]C. Hindley Vocab. and Gloss. in True Hist. of Tom and Jerry.

2. (also lily) a black person [a heavy joke at the expense of the black-skinned individual].

[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress xviii: ‘the Lily-white,’ [...] The Flash term for a negro. [Ibid.] 45: He hop’d the Swell, Lord C–ST-R-GH, / Would show the Lily-Whites fair play.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Tom and Jerry III iii: What, my lily! here, take a drop of mother’s milk. (gives black child gin out of a measure he has received from Landlord).
[UK]Bell’s Life in London 5 May 4/1: Some people calls me ‘Gipsey’ because I’m brownish; and others knows me by the name of ‘Lillywhite’.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum.
[UK]C. Hindley Vocab. and Gloss. in True Hist. of Tom and Jerry.
[US]I.L. Allen Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 46: Color Allusions, Other than ‘Black’ and ‘Negro’: lily-white [a deliberate paradox].

3. a young male homosexual.

[US]Lait & Mortimer USA Confidential 263: The lily-whites swish at 7th and Market.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.

4. (US black, also lilywhiter) a white person who claims superiority on the grounds of their colour.

[UK]C. Chesnutt Colonel’s Dream 74: He’s not a ‘Black and Tan Republican,’ but a ‘Lily White’.
[US]Sun. World-Herald Mag. (Omaha, NE) 18 Sept. 26/1: In that year, their control of the Texas Republican party was broken by ‘lily-whiters,’ who supported Cecil Lyons of Sherman [DA].

5. (orig. US) in pl., a white person’s hands.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.

6. (US black, also lily) usu. in pl., bedsheets.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 27 Aug. 11/1: The jitterbugs copping their outer-vines and skimmers and trucking to the slammer to hit the ozone [...] to climb between the lily-whites and beat out some doss.
[US]Cab Calloway New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 257: lily whites (n.): bed sheets.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 25: I bounced from my softy, gave the lilies a flip. [Ibid.] 41: Desdemona, the righteous wren, is stashed in her lilywhites.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 101: [I] drove straight for home, to stash my frame between a deuce of lilywhites.

7. (US) one who has no connections with any form of crime or corruption.

[US]H. McCoy Corruption City 132: ‘What’s the angle with this Conroy?’ [...] ‘This guy’s a lily-white.’.

8. (also clean skin) a drug trafficker who deliberately eschews ostentation to maximize their chances of avoiding arrest.

[UK]Observer 9 July 16: They use public transport, not Ferraris, pay their rent and council tax on time, hold down a boring job and never get in trouble with the law. These are the ‘clean skins’ or ‘lilywhites’ — the new drug traffickers who dwarf the activities of the old English crime ‘families’.