lawn jockey


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lawn jockey

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.
See also: jockey, lawn

lawn jockey

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.
See also: jockey, lawn
References in periodicals archive ?
Pritzker, the Democratic candidate for governor, sitting atop a black lawn jockey and blowing black smoke while an FBI agent listens in on his phone conversation.
These include but are not limited to: laundry chutes, lawn jockey statues, and monogrammed door knobs.
This cartoon might seem innocuous until you realize what adorns the White House lawn is a Republican lawn jockey.
He was called an Uncle Tom and an "angry Oreo," was pictured in a KKK hood as an "Ethnic Cleanser" in the Oakland Tribune, and was called "a lawn jockey for the ruling class" by a prominent, white male supporter of affirmative action.
It tells what it's like for a black family to move in where the only thing of color is the lawn jockey.
And the only sport Ross himself would be tall enough to enjoy is one involving a jockey, a lawn jockey.
Unless, of course, homeowners do the right thing and rip up the grass and cart away the lawn jockeys.
Real-world and quasi-mythological figures continue to intermingle, eventually encompassing two lawn jockeys who come to life (Gardner, Eric Fraisher Hayes); an Uncle Tom-like old man (Callender) crying "Save me, Joe Louis
But I've also seen them strolling among pedestrians in shopping malls, roosting on the outstretched arms of lawn jockeys and standing on window ledges at McDonald's drive-thrus, staring right at startled customers.