Yankee

/yang"kee/, n.
1. a native or inhabitant of the United States.
2. a native or inhabitant of New England.
3. a native or inhabitant of a northern U.S. state, esp. of one of the northeastern states that sided with the Union in the American Civil War.
4. a federal or northern soldier in the American Civil War.
5. a word used in communications to represent the letter Y.
6. Mil. the NATO name for a class of Soviet ballistic missile submarine, nuclear powered, with up to 16 missile launchers.
adj.
7. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a Yankee or Yankees: Yankee ingenuity.
[1750-60, Amer.; perh. back formation from D Jan Kees John Cheese, nickname (mistaken for plural) applied by the Dutch of colonial New York to English settlers in Connecticut]

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      a native or citizen of the United States or, more narrowly, of the New England states of the United States (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). The term Yankee is often associated with such characteristics as shrewdness, thrift, ingenuity, and conservatism. It was applied to Federal soldiers and other Northerners by Southerners during the American Civil War (1861–65) and afterward.

      The origin of the term is unknown. The Oxford English Dictionary says that “perhaps the most plausible conjecture” is that it comes from the Dutch Janke, the diminutive of Jan (John). British soldiers are recorded using it as a term of derision in 1775. Mitford Mathews (A Dictionary of Americanism on Historical Principles [1951]) traced its rise, pointing out that no evidence of use of the word by New Englanders before the Battle of Lexington (1775) has been found.

      Many fanciful derivations have been advanced. A mythical tribe of Massachusetts Indians, the Yankos (“Invincibles”), were said to have been defeated by brave New Englanders who then somehow assumed their name. Virginians countered with the story that the word means coward or slave and is derived from the Cherokee word eankke; no such word exists in the Cherokee language. These and many other theories about the origin of Yankee and of Yankee Doodle are reviewed and are all rejected in a comprehensive study conducted for the Librarian of Congress by Oscar G. Sonneck (1873–1928): Report on “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Hail Columbia,” “America,” “Yankee Doodle” (1909).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yankee — Yankee …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • yankee — [ jɑ̃ki ] n. et adj. • 1776; mot angl. amér., d o. i. 1 ♦ Hist. (souvent péj.) Habitant de la Nouvelle Angleterre, puis, durant la guerre de Sécession, Nordiste (pour les Sudistes). 2 ♦ Vieilli Américain des États Unis (par rapport aux autres… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Yankee in Oz — is a 1972 Oz novel by Ruth Plumly Thompson. It was the first published by The International Wizard of Oz Club. A letter from the Henry Regnery Company, which bought Reilly Lee, is reproduced in the front indicating the publisher s blessing for… …   Wikipedia

  • Yankee — Sm US Amerikaner erw. exot. (18. Jh.) Onomastische Bildung. Entlehnt aus ne. yankee Bewohner der amerikanischen Nordstaaten , dieses wohl zu ndl. Janke, Jantje, einem Diminutiv zu ndl. Jan. Ursprünglich wohl Spitzname für die niederländischen… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Yankee — Yan kee, a. Of or pertaining to a Yankee; characteristic of the Yankees. [1913 Webster] The alertness of the Yankee aspect. Hawthorne. [1913 Webster] {Yankee clover}. (Bot.) See {Japan clover}, under {Japan}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yankee — Yan kee, n. [Commonly considered to be a corrupt pronunciation of the word English, or of the French word Anglais, by the native Indians of America. According to Thierry, a corruption of Jankin, a diminutive of John, and a nickname given to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Yankee — (engl., spr. jängki), in Nordamerika Scherzname der Bewohner Neuenglands, in Europa der Nordamerikaner überhaupt. Yankee Doodle (spr. dudl), das Nationallied der Nordamerikaner …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Yankee — A Yankee is properly an inhabitant of New England or of the northern states of the USA, and the name was used with this meaning during the American Civil War. On the other hand the shortened form Yank is commonly applied to Americans generally.… …   Modern English usage

  • Yankee — (spr. Jänkih), eine indianische Verstümmelung des Wortes English (der Engländer), 1) Scherz u. Spottname für die Nordamerikaner, welcher denselben zuerst im Nordamerikanischen Freiheitskriege von den Engländern beigelegt wurde, bezeichnete… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Yankee — (engl., spr. jängki), Name, den man in Amerika selbst den Neuengländern, in Europa aber den Nordamerikanern überhaupt zur Bezeichnung ihres Nationalcharakters beilegt. Y. ist nach einigen die durch die Indianer verderbte Aussprache des Wortes… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Yankee — Yankee, ein Spottname, welchen die Engländer vorzugsweise den Nordamerikanern geben und der s. v. w. Tölpel bedeuten soll …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

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