Play the white man

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Play the white man is a phrase used in parts of Britain meaning to be decent and trustworthy in one's actions.[citation needed] A similar American expression is That's mighty white of you, with the meaning of "thank you for being fair". The phrase is commonly used by natives of Yorkshire and the humber. [1]

The origin of the phrase is obscure. The colour white has long been associated with purity and virtue in English culture, but the racial sense of the expression may refer more explicitly to the administrators and soldiers of the 18th, 19th and 20th-century British Empire.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smitherman, G (2006). Words and Expressions, Proverbs and Familiar Sayings. Word from the mother (pp. 45). Routledge: New York.

External links[edit]

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