1650s, "having a characteristic agreeable taste; having a flavor supposed to be imparted by the soil" (of wines, fruits, etc.), from race (n.2) in its older meaning "flavor" or in the sense "class of wines" + -y (2).
The extended meaning "having a quality of vigor" (1660s) led to that of "improper, risqué," attested by 1901, which probably was reinforced by the phrase racy of the soil "earthy" (1870). Related: Racily; raciness.
Figuratively, that is racy which is agreeably fresh and distinctive in thought and expression ; that is spicy which is agreeably pungent to the mind, producing a sensation comparable to that which spice produces in taste. [Century Dictionary]
by 1928, in common use from 1935, originally in a European context, "racial supremacy as a doctrine, the theory that human characteristics and abilities are determined by race;" see racist, and compare the various senses in race (n.2) and racialism. Applied to American social systems from late 1930s.
This meaning of Nationalism in no sense implies any consent to the doctrine of Racism, which holds that unity of racial origin is the main principle of unity for civil society and that the members of each ethnical branch should properly aim at grouping themselves together into so many national States. Although it is desirable that strongly-felt national aspirations, which often depend on community of race, should be satisfied, as far as this may be compatible with justice, Racism or the Principle of Racial Self determination, as it has been called in recent years is a materialistic illusion contrary to natural law and destructive of civilisation. [James Strachey Barnes, "The Universal Aspects of Fascism," London, 1928]
1932 (as an adjective from 1938), from race (n.2) + -ist. Racism (q.v.) is in use by 1928, originally in the context of fascist theories, and common from 1936. These words replaced earlier racialism (1882) and racialist (1910), both often used early 20c. in a British or South African context. There are isolated uses of racism from c. 1900.
Returning recently from a six months' visit to Europe, the Rev. John LaFarge, noted Catholic writer, warned at a dinner given in his honor that the destructive forces of "racism" are increasing in the United States, and that they could cause irreparable harm among the American people if immediate steps are not taken to combat them.
Father LaFarge said that American racism is directed principally against Negroes, Jews, and foreigners. He described it as "the pale but venomous cousin" of Nazi racism. Like its Nazi counterpart, he added, it has erected impassable barriers between extensive regions and large groups of people, has formed its own myths and moulded its own social institutions, and above all has come consistently into conflict with Christian teachings. [Opportunity, Journal of Negro Life, vol. XVII, No. 2, Feb. 1939]
Earlier, race hatred (1852 of the Balkans, 1858 of British India, 1861 of white and black in America), race prejudice (1867 of English in India, 1869 of white and black in America, 1870 of the English toward Irish) were used, and, especially in 19c. U.S. political contexts, negrophobia. Anglo-Saxonism as "belief in the superiority of the English race" had been used (disparagingly) from 1860. Anti-Negro (adj.) is attested in British and American English from 1819.
"regular race between two or more boats for prizes," 1650s, originally the name of a boat race among gondoliers held on the Grand Canal in Venice, from Italian (Venetian dialect) regatta, literally "contention for mastery," from rigattare "to compete, haggle, sell at retail," a word of uncertain origin. [Klein's sources, however, suggest a source in Italian riga "row, rank," from a Germanic source and related to English row (v.).]
The general meaning of "boat race, yacht race" is usually considered to have begun with a race on the Thames by that name June 23, 1775 (see OED), but there is evidence that the word was used in English as early as 1768.
"doctrine of progress in evolution of the human race, race-culture," 1883, coined (along with adjective eugenic) by English scientist Francis Galton (1822-1911) on analogy of ethics, physics, etc. from Greek eugenes "well-born, of good stock, of noble race," from eu- "good" (see eu-) + genos "birth" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget").
The investigation of human eugenics, that is, of the conditions under which men of a high type are produced. [Galton, "Human Faculty," 1883]
"resident or native of the Caucasus," 1843; see Caucasian (adj.). Meaning "one of the 'white' race" is from 1830.