Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Offensive A Black person who is regarded as being humiliatingly subservient or deferential to white people.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A black person who is obsequiously servile to white authority.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a servile black character in a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • n. (ethnic slur) offensive and derogatory name for a Black man who is abjectly servile and deferential to Whites

Etymologies

After Uncle Tom, a character in Uncle Tom's Cabin, a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • An old negro man, whom she calls Uncle Tom, is the hero of her tale.

    A Review of Uncle Tom's Cabin or, An Essay on Slavery

  • In the meantime Girdle is looking very good indeed with Uncle Tom, which is quite an accomplishment, as Uncle Tom dances with great enthusiasm and no rhythm.

    Podkayne Of Mars

  • Along similar lines, the lack of dimension extends to several of the characters -- Collie's mother is particularly one-note -- but, happily, the supporting characters that one might expect to border on caricature, namely Uncle Tom and Collie's grandfather, The Falcon, are in fact the ones who offer the most surprising and complicated moments, just one of the many pleasing surprises that Kelly has in store for her readers.

    Bookslut

  • Black athletes cannot live in two worlds, they must close off all ties with their heritage and the rural areas and inner city whence they came, because if they spend to much time in the ghetto, they will be ostracized by the white culture and if they spend to much time in the white world they will be called Uncle Tom's and sell outs, so you see, this is the world in which African-American athletes live, they cannot have it both ways! bulletbob on Yesterday, 7: 40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • Guess you've got to blame somebody ... that's an easy target! bulletbob wrote: Black athletes cannot live in two worlds, they must close off all ties with their heritage and the rural areas and inner city whence they came, because if they spend to much time in the ghetto, they will be ostracized by the white culture and if they spend to much time in the white world they will be called Uncle Tom's and sell outs, so you see, this is the world in which African-American athletes live, they cannot have it both ways!

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • How would we reword Uncle Tom's Cabin to fit Chairman Steele …

    Think Progress

  • A few years ago, I re-read Uncle Tom's Cabin and was mystified that "Uncle Tom" had become a synonym for black self loathing.

    Sara Davidson: Uncle Barack's Cabin

  • A black and white illustration of Arthur Shelby, owner of slaves such as Uncle Tom, and Haley, a slave trader, seated at a table in a dining parlour, eating, drinking and conversing, with a caucasian woman and child nearby.

    Illustrations from "Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly": 1853

  • It's a very revealing novel, almost not about slavery so much as it is about how difficult it is simply to be a man under a corrupt system; and at the same time there are several very different models of true and virile manhood: George, the runaway slave; Uncle Tom (who is in no way an "Uncle Tom"); and the Quaker men of the underground railroad.

    Wheat & Weeds

  • Hattie, "he said;" finish it, and I will scatter it thick as the leaves of Vallombrosa, "-- and so came" Uncle Tom, "and Plymouth Church became a stronghold ....

    Authors and Friends

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