Top 38 Slang For Black – Meaning & Usage

“Slang for Black” is a vibrant and ever-evolving aspect of language that reflects the rich culture and diversity within the Black community. From terms of endearment to expressions of solidarity, these words hold deep meanings and histories. Join us as we uncover and celebrate some of the most popular and impactful slang terms used within the Black community today. Get ready to expand your vocabulary and gain a deeper understanding of the language that shapes our world!

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1. Ink

This term is slang for black, often used in the context of tattoos. It refers to the dark, black ink that is used to create tattoo designs.

  • For example, a person might say, “I’m thinking of getting an ink sleeve on my arm.”
  • A tattoo artist might ask, “What kind of ink are you looking to use for your design?”
  • Someone might comment on a tattoo, saying, “I love the boldness of the black ink in that piece.”

2. Shadow

This slang term refers to the color black, comparing it to a shadow or darkness. It is often used to describe someone’s skin tone or hair color.

  • For instance, a person might say, “Her hair is as black as a shadow.”
  • In a conversation about skin tones, someone might comment, “I have a deep shadow complexion.”
  • Another person might describe a person’s appearance by saying, “He has striking blue eyes and a shadow complexion.”

3. Coal

This term is slang for the color black, comparing it to a piece of coal. It is often used to describe someone’s skin tone or hair color.

  • For example, a person might say, “Her hair is as black as coal.”
  • In a discussion about different shades of black, someone might comment, “I have more of a coal complexion.”
  • Another person might describe a person’s appearance by saying, “He has coal-black hair and fair skin.”

4. Jet

This slang term refers to the color black, comparing it to the black gemstone jet. It is often used to describe someone’s hair color or the darkness of an object.

  • For instance, a person might say, “Her jet-black hair is so shiny.”
  • In a conversation about the color of a car, someone might comment, “I love the jet black paint job.”
  • Another person might describe a person’s appearance by saying, “She has jet-black hair and a fair complexion.”

5. Dusk

This term is slang for the color black, comparing it to the darkness of dusk or twilight. It is often used to describe someone’s skin tone or hair color.

  • For example, a person might say, “Her hair is as black as the dusk.”
  • In a discussion about different shades of black, someone might comment, “I have a dusky complexion.”
  • Another person might describe a person’s appearance by saying, “He has dusky skin and dark eyes.”

6. Slate

This term refers to a color that is a mix of gray and black. It is often used to describe dark shades of black.

  • For example, someone might say, “Her hair was a beautiful slate color.”
  • In fashion, you might hear, “I love wearing slate-colored clothing.”
  • A designer might describe a room as having “slate-colored walls.”

7. Raven

This term refers to the color of a raven’s feathers, which is a deep, glossy black. It is often used to describe something that is very dark and black.

  • For instance, “Her eyes were as black as a raven’s.”
  • In literature, a writer might describe a character’s hair as “raven-black.”
  • A poet might use the term to describe a moonless night as “raven-dark.”

8. Obsidian

This term refers to a type of naturally occurring glass that is formed from volcanic activity. It is usually black in color and has a glossy appearance.

  • For example, “The knife had an obsidian blade.”
  • In geology, an expert might explain, “Obsidian is formed when lava cools quickly.”
  • A jewelry enthusiast might say, “Obsidian is often used in making black gemstone jewelry.”

9. Sable

This term originally referred to a type of marten with dark brown fur, but it is now used to describe a dark brownish-black color.

  • For instance, “Her coat was a rich sable color.”
  • In art, a painter might mix black and brown to create a sable shade.
  • A fashion designer might describe a fabric as having a sable hue.

10. Pitch

This term refers to a very dark and black color, often associated with the substance used in road construction. It is used to describe something that is completely black.

  • For example, “The room was pitch black.”
  • In sports, a player might describe the color of their team’s uniforms as “pitch black.”
  • A photographer might refer to a black and white image with deep black tones as having a “pitch-black background.”

11. Panther

This slang term refers to a black person and is derived from the black panther, a powerful and iconic symbol of black pride and resistance.

  • For example, “He’s a proud panther, always fighting for equality.”
  • In a conversation about racial identity, someone might say, “I identify as a panther because it represents my blackness.”
  • A person discussing black empowerment might use the term to say, “We need more panthers leading the movement.”

12. Midnighter

This slang term refers to a black person and is derived from the association of darkness with blackness, as midnight is the darkest time of night.

  • For instance, “He’s a proud midnighter, embracing his blackness.”
  • In a discussion about diversity, someone might say, “We need more midnighters in positions of power.”
  • A person discussing racial stereotypes might use the term to challenge assumptions, saying, “Not all midnighters fit the stereotypes society imposes.”

13. Char

This slang term is a shortened form of “charcoal” and is used to refer to a black person. It plays on the association of blackness with the color of charcoal.

  • For example, “He’s a proud char, embracing his black identity.”
  • In a conversation about racial diversity, someone might say, “We need to celebrate the contributions of chars in our society.”
  • A person discussing racial discrimination might use the term to highlight the impact, saying, “Chars often face unfair treatment due to their skin color.”

14. Coalie

This slang term is derived from the word “coal” and is used to refer to a black person. It plays on the association of blackness with the color of coal.

  • For instance, “He’s a proud coalie, never shying away from his blackness.”
  • In a discussion about racial equality, someone might say, “We need to address the challenges faced by coalies in our society.”
  • A person discussing racial identity might use the term to affirm their blackness, saying, “I embrace my identity as a coalie.”

15. Blackie

This slang term is a casual and sometimes derogatory way to refer to a black person. It is important to note that this term can be offensive and should be used with caution, if at all.

  • For example, “He’s a proud blackie, reclaiming the term as a form of empowerment.”
  • In a conversation about racial sensitivity, someone might say, “Using terms like blackie can perpetuate stereotypes and harm.”
  • A person discussing racial slurs might use the term to highlight the impact, saying, “Blackie is an example of a derogatory term used to demean black individuals.”

16. Abyss

This slang term refers to someone who has a very dark complexion. It is often used to describe someone with black skin.

  • For example, a person might say, “She has beautiful ebony skin, she’s an abyss.”
  • In a conversation about skin tones, someone might comment, “I love how diverse our group is, we have everything from pale to abyss.”
  • Another might say, “She’s proud of her heritage and embraces her abyss complexion.”

17. Blackster

This slang term is derived from combining “black” and “gangster” and is used to refer to a black person, often in a derogatory or offensive manner.

  • For instance, someone might say, “He’s just a blackster, always causing trouble.”
  • In a discussion about racial stereotypes, someone might mention, “Using terms like blackster perpetuates negative stereotypes.”
  • Another might argue, “We should focus on celebrating diversity instead of using derogatory terms like blackster.”

18. Dusky

This slang term is used to describe someone who has a slightly dark complexion. It is often used in a positive or neutral manner.

  • For example, someone might say, “She has a dusky complexion that looks stunning in the sunlight.”
  • In a conversation about beauty standards, someone might comment, “It’s refreshing to see models with dusky skin being represented in the industry.”
  • Another might say, “Dusky skin is often associated with a natural, radiant glow.”

19. Black bean

This slang term compares a black person to a black bean, often in a playful or light-hearted manner.

  • For instance, someone might say, “Hey, black bean, what’s up?” as a friendly greeting.
  • In a conversation about food and culture, someone might mention, “Black beans are a staple in many traditional dishes.”
  • Another might use the term in a humorous way, saying, “I’m feeling like a black bean today, full of energy!”

20. Black pearl

This slang term compares a black person to a black pearl, often highlighting their beauty or rarity.

  • For example, someone might say, “She’s a black pearl, rare and beautiful.”
  • In a discussion about diversity, someone might comment, “We need to appreciate the unique qualities of each black pearl in our community.”
  • Another might use the term as a compliment, saying, “You’re a true black pearl, shining bright in a sea of mediocrity.”

21. Black rose

The black rose is often associated with death or farewell, and is used to symbolize the end of something or to express grief or mourning.

  • For example, a person might give a black rose to someone as a way of saying goodbye or expressing sorrow.
  • In literature or poetry, the black rose might be used to represent the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship.
  • In some cultures, the black rose is also associated with rebirth or new beginnings.
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22. Black sheep

The term “black sheep” is used to describe a person who is considered different or unconventional compared to the rest of their family or social group. It often carries a negative connotation and implies that the person is an outcast or troublemaker.

  • For instance, in a family of doctors, a person who chooses to pursue a career in art might be seen as the black sheep.
  • In a group of friends who follow the rules, someone who constantly breaks them might be labeled as the black sheep.
  • The phrase can also be used humorously to describe someone who is simply different from the rest but not necessarily causing trouble.

23. Black belt

In martial arts, a black belt is the highest rank that can be achieved. It signifies a high level of skill and expertise in the specific martial art.

  • For example, someone who has earned a black belt in karate has demonstrated mastery of the techniques and principles of karate.
  • In a martial arts competition, a black belt is often seen as a formidable opponent and someone to be respected.
  • The term “black belt” is also used metaphorically to describe someone who is highly skilled or accomplished in any field.

24. Black coffee

Black coffee refers to coffee that is consumed without any additives such as milk, cream, or sugar. It is often preferred by those who enjoy the strong and pure flavor of coffee.

  • For instance, someone might order a black coffee at a cafe if they prefer their coffee without any milk or sugar.
  • In some coffee shops, black coffee is also used as a term to describe a simple and unadorned cup of coffee, without any fancy flavors or additions.
  • The phrase “let’s grab a black coffee” can also be used as a casual invitation to meet up for a coffee.
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25. Black knight

The term “black knight” is often used to describe someone who is a loyal defender or protector. It can also refer to a person who is unyielding and determined in their actions or beliefs.

  • For example, in a fantasy novel, the black knight might be the hero who fights against evil and protects the innocent.
  • In a metaphorical sense, someone who stands up for what they believe in, even in the face of adversity, can be called a black knight.
  • The term can also be used humorously to describe someone who is overly protective or chivalrous.

26. Black swan

A black swan refers to an unexpected event that has a significant impact and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact. The term comes from the belief that all swans are white, and the discovery of a black swan was considered impossible until it was found in Australia.

  • For example, the 2008 financial crisis was considered a black swan event because it was unexpected and had a severe impact on the global economy.
  • In a discussion about unpredictable events, someone might say, “You never know when a black swan will come and disrupt everything.”
  • A person might describe a surprising turn of events as a black swan, saying, “It was a black swan moment that changed the course of our project.”

27. Black widow

A black widow is a venomous spider with a black body and a red hourglass-shaped mark on its abdomen. The term “black widow” is also used colloquially to refer to a dangerous or manipulative woman.

  • For instance, in a conversation about spiders, someone might say, “The black widow is known for its deadly bite.”
  • In a discussion about toxic relationships, a person might warn, “Be careful of getting involved with a black widow.”
  • A character in a movie might describe a femme fatale as a black widow, saying, “She’s like a black widow, luring men in and then destroying them.”

28. Black hole

A black hole is a region in space where the gravitational pull is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. It is formed when a massive star collapses under its own gravity.

  • For example, scientists believe that a black hole exists at the center of every galaxy, including our own Milky Way.
  • In a discussion about astrophysics, someone might explain, “A black hole is created when a massive star undergoes a supernova explosion.”
  • A person might use the term metaphorically, saying, “I feel like I’m being sucked into a black hole of work and responsibilities.”

29. Black ice

Black ice refers to a thin, transparent layer of ice on a road surface that is difficult to see. It is called black ice because it blends in with the color of the road, making it dangerous for drivers.

  • For instance, a weather report might warn, “Be cautious of black ice on the roads tomorrow morning.”
  • In a discussion about winter driving, someone might share a personal experience, saying, “I hit a patch of black ice and lost control of my car.”
  • A person might give advice on how to prevent accidents on black ice, saying, “Slow down and avoid sudden movements when driving on roads with black ice.”

30. Black label

Black label is a term used to denote a high-quality or exclusive product. It is often associated with luxury brands and premium items.

  • For example, a whiskey connoisseur might say, “I only drink black label scotch.”
  • In a discussion about fashion, someone might mention, “The black label collection is known for its exquisite craftsmanship.”
  • A person might describe a limited edition item as a black label product, saying, “This watch is a black label edition, and there are only 100 in the world.”

31. Black market

This term refers to the illegal buying and selling of goods or services outside of the official economy. It can involve the exchange of illegal goods, such as drugs or weapons, or the sale of legal goods without paying taxes or following regulations.

  • For example, “He bought a designer handbag on the black market for a fraction of the retail price.”
  • In a discussion about the economy, someone might say, “The black market is thriving due to high demand for counterfeit goods.”
  • A news article might report, “Authorities cracked down on a black market operation selling fake identification documents.”

32. Black ops

This term refers to secret or undercover military or intelligence operations that are not officially acknowledged or publicly disclosed. Black ops often involve highly classified missions, espionage, or other clandestine activities.

  • For instance, “The special forces unit specializes in black ops and carries out missions behind enemy lines.”
  • In a video game featuring military themes, a player might say, “I love playing as a black ops operative and completing stealth missions.”
  • A spy thriller novel might describe a character as, “A former black ops agent with a mysterious past.”

33. Black tie

This term refers to a dress code for formal events, typically requiring men to wear a black tuxedo with a black bow tie and women to wear elegant evening gowns. Black tie events are often associated with high-class social gatherings, such as galas or award ceremonies.

  • For example, “The invitation specifies black tie attire, so make sure to dress accordingly.”
  • In a conversation about wedding dress codes, someone might ask, “Is it a black tie wedding, or is cocktail attire acceptable?”
  • A fashion magazine might feature an article titled, “How to Style a Black Tie Look with a Modern Twist.”

34. Black book

This term refers to a personal address book or contact list that contains the names and information of influential or important individuals. The term “black book” implies that these contacts are valuable and may be kept confidential or hidden from others.

  • For instance, “He keeps a black book of industry contacts to help him network and advance his career.”
  • In a movie about organized crime, a character might say, “The boss has a black book with the names of all his connections.”
  • A business article might discuss, “The importance of maintaining a black book of professional contacts for future opportunities.”

35. Black box

This term refers to a device or system, typically electronic, that is complex or difficult to understand. The term “black box” implies that the inner workings or mechanisms are not easily accessible or visible.

  • For example, “The technician is examining the black box to determine the cause of the malfunction.”
  • In a discussion about technology, someone might say, “I don’t fully understand how it works, but the black box is responsible for processing the data.”
  • A news report might mention, “Investigators recovered the black box from the wreckage to analyze the flight data.”

36. Blacktop

Blacktop refers to asphalt, which is commonly used to pave roads and other surfaces. The term “blacktop” is derived from the dark black color of asphalt.

  • For example, a person might say, “I tripped and fell on the blacktop while playing basketball.”
  • In a discussion about road construction, someone might mention, “The crew is working on repaving the blacktop on Main Street.”
  • A driver might complain, “My car got covered in blacktop residue after driving through a construction zone.”

37. Coalminer

A coalminer is a person who works in the coal mining industry, extracting coal from the earth. The term “coalminer” specifically refers to individuals involved in the mining process.

  • For instance, someone might say, “My grandfather was a coalminer in the 1950s.”
  • In a conversation about the impact of coal mining on the environment, a person might comment, “Coalminers play a crucial role in the energy sector.”
  • An article discussing the dangers of coal mining might mention, “Coalminers face various risks, including respiratory illnesses and accidents.”

38. Black Star

Black Star is a term used to symbolize black excellence and achievement. It represents individuals who have made significant contributions to various fields and have become influential figures within the black community.

  • For example, someone might say, “Barack Obama is a black star in politics.”
  • In a discussion about black representation in Hollywood, a person might mention, “Black stars are breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations.”
  • An article celebrating black musicians might highlight, “Black stars have shaped the music industry with their talent and creativity.”