Etymology
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piccaninny (n.)

also pickaninny, "a baby," especially, as used by Europeans, one of any of the black races, 1650s, from West Indies patois, formed as a diminutive from Spanish pequeño or Portuguese pequeno "little, small," a word of uncertain origin, related to French petit (see petit (adj.)). Now offensive; as late as 1836 it was applied affectionately in English to any small child or baby, regardless of race.

updated on May 31, 2020

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