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July 1, 2022

Interlocutor / noun / in·ter·loc·u·tor

In the first sense, the interlocutor simply means "a person who participates in a dialogue or conversation." The English version of "interlocutor" refers to a participant in an American "minstrel show". The minstrel show, also known as "minstrelsy," is a form of American theater. This form of American entertainment was the most popular 18th century between 1850-1870. Minstrel shows of this time period became famous for portraying stereotypical behaviors of black Americans played by white characters wearing painted black faces.

As leaders of American minstrel shows, "interlocutors" are the main characters. Minstrel show performers designated as the "interlocutors" had their faces painted white. The interlocutor is in the middle of the circle, dressed in business-like attire. The "end men" stood at the ends during the show and wore shabby clothes with their faces painted black. Thomas Dartmouth Rice, an African American impersonator, known as "Jim Crow" is one of the most famous interlocutors of the black face show.

In a Sentence

The interlocutor stood in the middle of the circle to ask the questions.

How many times has the interlocutor asked the same question?

The woman was a good mediator and interlocutor.


We first see the use of the word "interlocutor" in the early 15th century, around 1514. "Interlocutor" has Latin origins and ties to the Latin word interloqui, which means to "speak between" or to "issue an interlocutory decree." The "interlocutory" decree is a legal term that relates to issuing a court judgment while the case is still being decided. This type of legal decree is non-binding.


Interrogator, Interviewer


Audience, Spectator


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