[jim-kroh] /ˈdʒɪmˈkroʊ/

favoring or supporting Jim Crow.
for blacks only:
a Jim-Crow school.
a practice or policy of segregating or discriminating against blacks, as in public places, public vehicles, or employment.
Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.
/ˈdʒɪm ˈkrəʊ/
noun (often capitals) (US)


an implement for bending iron bars or rails
a crowbar fitted with a claw

“black person,” 1838, American English, originally the name of a black minstrel character in a popular song-and-dance act by T.D. Rice (1808-1860) that debuted 1828 and attained national popularity by 1832:

Wheel about, an’ turn about, an’ do jis so;
Eb’ry time I wheel about, I jump Jim Crow.

Where and how Rice got it, or wrote it, is a mystery. Even before that, crow (n.) had been a derogatory term for a black man. Association with segregation dates from 1842, in reference to a railroad car for blacks. Modern use as a type of racial discrimination is from 1943. In mid-19c., Jim Crow also could be a reference to someone’s change of (political) principles (from the “jump” in the song).

A descriptive term for the segregation of institutions, businesses, hotels, restaurants, and the like. It also refers to the laws that required racial segregation.


: Jim Crow laws

noun phrase


: I would like to say that the people who Jim Crow me have a white heart

[fr a character in a minstrel-show song by T D Rice]


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