Definitions starting with S

ID #5112

Sambo, sambo (2)

n. 1. [cf. W Car. sambo, Afro-Indian from Sp., Port. zambo idem, possibly from Kongo nzambu ape (Santamaria 1942: 309) cf. Cam. sumbu baboon CCD; see Holm 1978: 209-10; cf. DJE sambo three-quarters negro] a dark-skinned person with some mixed ancestry (now usually derog.); 1888 From his handsome features I guessed he had white blood somewhere, but he was very black in colour. I was told he was what is called a "Sambo" or the child of a mulatoo and a black (Powles 231). (Black).

2. [OED, a nickname for a negro (perh. a different word .... it may be the Foula sambo uncle); "cf. US sambo black man ... cf. widespread West African personal names: Wolof Samb, Samba;; Mandingo Sambu; Hausa Sambo. The American story of Little Black Sambo appears to be a corrpution of a West African folktale" (Dalby 1972: 185); now considered offensive in US] Obs. a personal name: 1785 A Negro man named Sambo (Bahama Gazette).

Tags: folktales, noun, pejorative

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Last update: 2011-07-04 20:37
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.1

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