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Meaning of Blackamor

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  • A person with dark skin, especially (but not necessarily) one from northern Africa
         *2003: ""What!" exclaimed the Prince, "the music is by the blackamoor (a black Moor). Well, my fine blackamoor, henceforth thou art in my service."" — Beethoven: Revealing His True Identity, Dr. Kwaku Person-Lynn
         *2002:"What had Pringle done to merit such a severe penalty? He had said to Adusei during a criminal trial, "How's the blackamoor?". The Tribunal found that this was offensive, which clearly it was, and constituted an act of racial discrimination." — An English Bar Disciplinary Tribunal went over the top when dealing with a racial harassment case., Barbara Hewson
         *1958: "Gage noted the clothing of the slaves of the Spanish nobles, and silk was common to them. "The gentlemen have their train of blackamoor slaves, some a dozen, some half a dozen, waiting on them, in brave and gallant liveries, heavy with gold and silver lace, with silk stockings on their black legs, and roses on their feet, and swords by their sides."" — The Prophet Said Silk, Maurice W. Connell () citing Thomas Gage's Travels in the New World, J. Eric S. Thompson (editor), page 73
  • a blackamoor slave, a blackamoor servant; and hence any slave, servant, inferior, or child
  • 1999: She seems to have been a serious girl, but she remembered her father's characterization of her as his "Little blackamoor."" — Lost Girl, Doug Davis
         *"In 1596 Elizabeth I had already decreed that all "blackamoors" should be sent back to Spain or Portugal as they were disturbing local labour markets. It became very fashionable for the wealthy to have "blackamoor" page boys and personal servants, as their complexions set off the pale-skinned beauty of the women of the family." — Annotation to The Diary of Samuel Pepys by "Mary", citing Restoration London, Liza Picard, pages 178-179.
  • (heraldry) a stylized Negro
         Argent, three blackamoors heads couped sable, capped or, fretty gules.


  • A village in England.
  • a Moor
         *1995: "Although, as we now realize, no Blackamoor at any 18th century European court was merely decorative, in Ibrahim's case, Peter's expectations for him were as loaded with responsibility as those he would have had for his own son." — The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families: Pushkin Genealogy
         *1601: "highly discontented to understand the great numbers of negars and Blackamoors which (as she is informed) are crept into this realm... who are fostered and relieved her to the great annoyance of her own liege people, that want the relief , which those people consume, as also for that the most of them are infidels, having no understanding of Christ or his Gospel." (pronouncement of Queen Elizabeth I in 1601) — Staying Power: the History of Black People in Britain, Peter Fryer, from
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

Black"a*moor (&?;), n. [Black + Moor.] A negro or negress. Shak.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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The correct spelling of this word ought to be: Blackamoor

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