The derogatory term Porch Monkey was initially an ethnic slur mainly used in the United States to refer to African American people.
It carries the misconception of the black people that they’re unemployed and lazy, therefore all day do is sitting outside on their front porch of their home.
Also, as of now, it is a very outdated and a deeply offensive pejorative slang term.
Origin of the term
Originally, the term was used in the 18th century referring to children of black slaves who were sometimes so young to be left alone on a porch where it would be unlikely to wander away.
In the south this term developed largely because there were a few children between the ages of 4-6, since slave owners bred their slaves very often.
“Porch Monkey” also involves an implicit remark about the generalizations of black people poverty.
Since it can be very expensive to cool down a family home with central air conditioning, it is a more economical choice to just sit outside on a hot summer day.
Spread of the term
“Porch Monkey” has been a popular expression in the history of slavery in the USA, but nowadays it is disrespectful and insulting to label anyone with it.
The term mainly spread in the south of the United States, where bungalow style homes were popular amongst the low-rent neighbourhoods.
The slang also earned its first entry on Urban Dictionary was submitted in 2003 by the user charlie who described the term as “a derogatory way of describing a person of African descent”.
- Dictionary.com – Porch Monkey