Etymology
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black sheep (n.)
by 1822 in figurative sense of "member of some group guilty of offensive conduct and unlike the other members," supposedly because a real black sheep had wool that could not be dyed and thus was worth less. But one black sheep in a flock was considered good luck by shepherds in Sussex, Somerset, Kent, Derbyshire. First known publication of Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme is in "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book" (c. 1744).
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black box (n.)
1947, RAF slang for "navigational instruments;" later extended to any sort of apparatus that operates in a sealed container. Especially of flight recorders from c. 1964.
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Black Hills 
South Dakota landform, translating Lakhota pahá-sapa; supposedly so called because their densely forested flanks look dark from a distance.
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blacksmith (n.)
late 15c. (mid-13c. as a surname), "smith who works in iron," from black + smith (n.). Listed in royal ordinance (along with bladesmiths, spurriers, and goldbeaters); blacksmiths worked in heated, heavy metals as opposed to those who beat gold, tin, or pewter (the material of a whitesmith).
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Black Death (n.)

"bubonic/pneumonic plague epidemic of 1347-51 in Europe," a modern name, introduced in English 1823 by Elizabeth Penrose's history of England. The contemporary 14c. name for it in most European languages was something like "the great dying" or simply "the plague;" in English it was the pestilence (or, looking back after its return in 1361-2, the first pestilence).

The term "Black Death" first turns up in 16c. Swedish and Danish chronicles, but it is used in reference to a visitation of plague in Iceland (which had been spared in the earlier outbreaks) in 1402-3 that carried off much of the population there. The exact sense of "black" is not clear. The term appears in English translations of the Scandinavian works from 1750s. It was picked up in German c. 1770 and applied to the earlier outbreak and was taken from there into English in that sense.

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Black Hand (n.)
Italian immigrant secret society in U.S., 1904; earlier a Spanish anarchist society, both from the warning mark they displayed to potential victims.
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black widow (n.)

type of poisonous spider (Latrodectus mactans) in U.S. South, 1904, so called from its color and from the female's supposed habit of eating the male after mating (the males seem to get eaten more often before they mate, when they first enter the webs of the females, which have very poor eyesight). Sometimes also known as shoe-button spider. The name black widow is attested earlier (1830s) as a translation of a name of the "scorpion spider" of Central Asia.

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blackberry (n.)
"fruit of the bramble," early 12c., from Old English blaceberian, from black (adj.) + berry. So called for the color. Also in Old English as bremelberie, bremelæppel (from bramble). The wireless handheld device of the same name was introduced 1999. Related: Blackberrying.
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blackout (n.)
also black-out, 1908 in the theatrical sense of a darkened stage, from black (v.) + out (adv.). Figurative sense of "loss of memory" is 1934 (verb and noun); as "a dousing of lights as an air raid precaution," it is recorded from 1935. Verbal phrase black out, in reference to printed or written matter deemed objectionable and covered in black ink, is attested from 1888.
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