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1. A small statue of man, usually dressed like a jockey, bearing a metal ring in one outstretched hand, originally intended as a hitching post and now typically placed on a front lawn. One version particularly popular in the southern United States (sometimes called a "jocko") features the exaggerated stereotypical features of a black man. Though its origin is debated, it is often considered offensive. It is still not uncommon to see lawn jockeys in front of houses if you travel down south, even though no one uses them to tie up their horses anymore.
2. highly offensive Used by extension as a derogatory slang term for a black man. I could hear the group call me a lawn jockey as I passed by, but I just kept walking.
A derogatory term for an African-American. A traditional feature of a Southern front yard was a statue of a diminutive black man painted in the colors of horseracing silks. His hand was outstretched, as if to hitch a horse's reins (the hand often ended in a ring for just that purpose). As an expression connoting subservience in the sense of “slave” or “mascot,” “lawn jockey” deserved to be consigned to the linguistic scrap heap.