Definitions

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

  • n. A doll fashioned in grotesque caricature of a Black male.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rag doll or mascot in the form of a caricature of a black minstrel.
  • n. A black person.
  • n. this sense?) (Rhyming slang as "the" golliwogs): greyhound racing

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

  • n. a grotesque black doll

Etymologies

After Golliwog, a character in books by Florence Upton (died 1922), American illustrator.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined for the illustrations by Florence Kate Upton for her mother Bertha Upton′s 1895 children′s book, The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls — and a ‘Golliwogg’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Obviously, the target of the use of the term golliwog makes some difference to the situation, but whether ot not Carol Thatcher is employed by the BBC is hardly an earth-shattering issue.

    Harry's Place

  • Put aside the political correctness agruments for a while (to a child, a golliwog is just a golliwog, ok, a nice, different-looking but just as well-loved doll) and give the child the benefit of the doubt that given the right stimulus, he/she WILL have the interest and attention span to follow through on longer stories - or even series of stories.

    British Books for Malaysian Schools

  • Carol Thatcher repeated the word golliwog when referring to a black tennis player after she was told it was racist and offensive by both Adrian Chiles and Jo Brand, it has been revealed.

    Home | Mail Online

  • There are many who were shocked by Thatcher's use of the word golliwog, Adrian Chiles and Jo Brand among them, and many more who are equally outraged that she could be sacked for uttering it.

    Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

  • It followed the furore over Carol Thatcher's use of the word golliwog during a private conversation after the BBC's One Show.

    Home | Mail Online

  • Corporation chiefs told her that unless she acknowledged that using the word golliwog was unacceptable, she could not work on the show again.

    Home | Mail Online

  • Miss Thatcher used the word golliwog while in the green room with comedian Jo Brand and One Show presenter Adrian Chiles last Thursday.

    Home | Mail Online

  • The BBC today defended its decision to axe Carol Thatcher from a flagship show for referring to a tennis player as a "golliwog" - blaming her for not apologising.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • Opinions will vary over the comparison of a tennis player's hair to a 'golliwog' - personally I don't think it rates anywhere near the top of the list - but the remark was said in private and not on air.

    Skipper

  • I was called a golliwog supermodel she claimed, well that is a lot better than what I would call her which is A vacuous, clotheshorse who is famous for just being famous, who's only skill is that of an automated clothes hanger.

    Archive 2008-06-01

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Comments

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  • See also Racial Epithets in Cultured Accents on The New York Times.

    February 19, 2009

  • Carol Thatcher used this term in relation to a black tennis player and was fired from a BBC show. Carol Thatcher is the daughter of the former Prime Minister Mrs Margaret Thatcher. On this week's The News Quiz one panellist commented I blame the parents.

    See
    For me, golliwogs have lost their juju
    for an interesting view of the issues involved.

    February 8, 2009

  • "Madcap Ciss with her golliwog curls."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 13

    January 14, 2007