|Pickaninny (also pickaninnie) is a Pidgin word form derived from the Portuguese pequenino ("little") via Lingua franca.|
According to one hypothesis, pidgin has the same etymology.
In the Southern United States, it was long used to refer to African American children. The term was still in some popular use in the US as late as the 1930s, but has fallen out of use and is considered racist.
It was controversially used ("wide-eyed grinning picaninnies") by the British Conservative politician Enoch Powell in his "Rivers of Blood" speech on 20 April 1968.
It is still in widespread use in Papua New Guinea, as a term meaning young child (or just young, as in the phrase ´pickanininy pig´, meaning piglet).
In certain dialects of Caribbean English, the words pickney and pickney-negger (pronounced "pick-knee" and "pick-knee nay-ga" respectively) are used to refer to children.