Definition of golliwog in English:



  • A soft doll with bright clothes, a black face, and fuzzy hair.

    • ‘He had a golliwog, and a golliwog is an English doll, and he probably left it on my bed.’
    • ‘A golliwog was the name given to a small black faced rag doll which first appeared in a series of children's books written and illustrated by Florence and Bertha Upton around 1895.’
    • ‘Artists have been fascinated with the golliwog image, such as Damali Ayo and Kara Walker.’
    • ‘The golliwog first appeared more than 100 years ago in a children's book by Florence Kate Upton and was later adopted by jam maker James Robertson & Sons as a trademark in 1910.’


Late 19th century: from Golliwogg, the name of a doll character in books by Bertha Upton (died 1912), American writer, and Florence K. Upton (died 1922), American illustrator; perhaps suggested by golly and polliwog.