Definition of pickney in US English:



West Indian
  • (chiefly in Caribbean English) a child.

    ‘me and the pickney have to survive some way’
    Compare with pickaninny
    • ‘Let it be a warning to all school pickney, whether they hail from Cherry Gardens or from Tivarli!’
    • ‘I didn't pick up on this perverted undertone when I was a pickney, did you?’
    • ‘That must have been drummed into the head of the elderly man's wife when she was a pickney.’
    • ‘At this rate, only rich people pickney (rich people's kids) will be able to take advantage of this service.’
    • ‘Now please don't get me wrong, I don't believe in spoiling kids at all, and I don't feel that I was raised as a pwoil pickney (spoiled child) at all.’
    child, baby, infant, son, daughter, youngster, little one, tot, tiny tot
    View synonyms


The word pickney is derived from pickaninny but has different connotations. Pickaninny is now usually regarded as an offensive racial slur for a black child, whereas pickney is commonly used to mean ‘child’ in Caribbean English and in that context does not generally have offensive or racial overtones


Contraction of pickaninny.