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Dear Users,


Is the word honkey still used in the United States?


- If so, is it mainly used by African-Americans to refer to a white person?

- Is it old-fashioned?

- Is it used in other varieties of English?


Thank you

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It's a slang term for a white person – disparaging and offensive, so I assume certain groups of people use it freely among themselves if not in public.

This Ngram shows it's alive and well in American English with its preferred spelling of honky.

I don't hear it used in British English.

Comments  
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Rover_KEIt's a slang term for a white person – disparaging and offensive,

As with any words like that, it's worth being aware of but definitely not worth choosing to use. Any racist language is not worthwhile nowadays so, people who choose to use any of it actually perpetuate it and contribute nothing worthwhile to the world.

Thank you, Rover_KE.

I fully agree with you on the point that racist language is something that should be avoided. I've heard this word in a documentary movie about a crime case that took place in the city of Atlanta, and it was used by a Caucasian former FBI agent, so I was wondering whether or not the word is highly offensive.


On a slightly different word, I'm quite interested in the etymology of lexical items, so it would be interesting to see where that word came from.