Green’s Dictionary of Slang

white man n.

[SE white/white adj. (2); modern use usu. ironic]

1. [mid-19C+] (UK/US, also white fellow, ...guy) an honourable person.

2. [1950s] (W.I.) an albino.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

white man’s burden (n.) [Kipling’s poem ‘The White Man’s Burden’, in which the task was the ruling of the ‘new-caught sullen peoples/Half-devil and half-child’]

[1940s–50s] work; the matter in hand.

white man’s chance (n.) [as opposed to the treatment of non-whites]

[mid–late 19C] (US) a fair chance.

white man’s disease (n.)

[1980s+] (US black) the relative inability of Caucasians to jump, a term of derision almost exclusively used in a basketball context.