also honkey, derogatory word for "white person," by 1967, African-American vernacular, of unknown origin, perhaps from late 19c. hunky "East-Central European immigrant," which probably is a colloquial shortening of Hungarian (compare hunk (n.2)). Honky in the sense of "factory hand" is attested by 1946 in blues slang. A connection to honky-tonk also is possible.
updated on January 29, 2020