Many peoples have their own nicknames, harmonious or not. Americans are often called “Yankees” in conversation. But where did this word come from, and what does it exactly mean? Can it be considered abusive or not?
♥ BY TOPIC: Why the dollar is called the buck, the symbol $ and other interesting facts about the American currency are indicated.
Initially, the “Yankees” were called natives and residents of New England. This common name is found in the northeastern states of the United States. The word came into use during the War of Independence (1775-1783). The contemptuous “Yankees” were used by English soldiers against the rebellious colonists.
Even now, calling the resident of the southern states “Yankees”, he can be offended, because in those parts they do not consider themselves to be.
The meaning of the word “Yankee” often changes depending on who uses it. There is even such a funny rule among the people:
To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.
For foreigners, the Yankees is an American.
For Americans, a northerner.
For residents of the East, the Yankees is a New Englishman.
For New English, this is a resident of Vermont.
And in Vermont, the Yankees are the ones who eat breakfast pie.
But what is wrong with this word? It’s all about its origin. True, there is no single point of view on this issue. The Oxford English Dictionary says “Yankee” comes from “eankke” from the Cherokee language. The native inhabitants of America used this word to the colonists, emphasizing their cowardice. Perhaps the name “Yankee” is of European origin, as a combination of the words Jan and Kees. These names were popular with the Dutch colonists who inhabited just the surroundings of modern New York. The combination of two words gave rise to a contemptuous term for Europeans who settled in America.
And according to another version, the word “Yankees” is based on the Dutch surname Jankie, remade in English.
In any case, it is obvious that the Yankees are the nickname of the first New England colonists. These people stood out as their dialect, and lifestyle, religion.
The documented birth of the term occurred in 1758, thanks to the English general James Wolfe. So he described his militias not too militant, originally from America. But later, during the War of Independence, the “cowardly Yankees” were already confronting the British army.
The popularization of the word was helped by the Yankee doodle song, which eventually became a Connecticut anthem. During the Anglo-American War in 1812, the British called the Yankees already all American soldiers. And during the Civil War, southerners called all northerners this way.
As you can see, gradually the framework of belonging to the “Yankees” eroded. Today, this word is ironically called all white Americans.