Derogatory term for a white person, the caucasian equivalent of nigger, as used by African Americans. Popular in the early and mid 20th century and probably going back to the slave era. Origin is possibly from the Yoruba ofe, used to protect oneself from danger or trouble, or the Ibibio afia, meaning white or light colored. Other (improbable) explanations are pig latin for foe, or the French au fait, indicating, according to H.L. Mencken, mastery.

Also see: honky, cracker, whitey.

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