Now chiefly in African-American usage. Designating a light-skinned black person.
1A light-skinned black person. Compare "yellow". Now chiefly in African-American usage.
2A person with naturally yellowish or pale olive skin or complexion; (in later use) especially a person of South-East or East Asian (especially Chinese or Japanese) ethnic origin. Compare "yellow". Often derogatory and now offensive.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Royal Gazette (Kingston, Jamaica). From yellow + skin.