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3.
Tar baby is a synonym for nigger, except that it is only used in bigoted manners, whereas nigger can be a sign of respect, if the speaker is also African American.

It comes from a children's story in which the dark skin and seeming ignorance (caused by a lack of schooling) of slaves were explained by the idea that black children were baptised in tar, which made them dark and dumb.

see nigger
Biff: Let's beat the sh*t out of that tar baby.
Tad: Shall we?
by Cameron Murphy July 08, 2004
863 777
 
1.
A dummy made of tar, which cannot be struck without getting oneself hopelessly stuck to it--from the story "Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Fox" by Joe Harris, as told by his fictional narrator, Uncle Remus.

Tar baby has become short hand for a situation better avoided than confronted.
The issue of immigration has become a tar baby for president Gearge W. Bush.
by thalio May 16, 2006
643 291
 
2.
a situation almost impossible to get out of; a problem virtually unsolvable;
His political advisers told him to stay away from the controversy,
that it was a no-win cause, a “tar baby.”
by Richard April 18, 2004
597 380
 
4.
A sticky mess. Something unable to get away from.Alternate: Similar to a Catch-22. Damned if you do and damned if you dont. A mistaken notion or misunderstanding that immediately produces indignation.
Talking about un-wed teen pregnancy is a real tar baby
by jaatee July 31, 2006
199 153
 
5.
A tarbaby is an african american (negro) who is dark. They happen to be so dark that they resemble dinosaurs in the ancient tarpits
Boy oh boy look at that tarbaby. i bet i couldn't see him in a dark alley.
by Phillip March 30, 2005
133 111
 
6.
A Tarbaby is a beautiful tortoiseshell cat with golden eyes who loves to chirp and chortle. Though often sweet and affectionate, they are easily irritated and will often whine when they are displeased.
Tarbaby likes to pursue yarn in the early hours of the morning.
by happytortie February 02, 2010
17 23
 
7.
Now used as an insult to black people, the tar baby was originally a jet black baby doll (becaue it was made out of tar) used to trap Br'er Rabbit Rabbit in an American folk tale.

Tar baby can also be a term used to describe a "sticky" situation.
It's not racist to call an actual tar baby a tar baby! That's like saying it's racist to call Ritz "crackers" or chocolate sandwich cookies "Oreos"!
by PokeyMan December 06, 2010
71 79