Yankee was our Word of the Day on 07/04/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of yankee in a Sentence
a Southern girl who married a Yankee
Did You Know?
Many etymologies have been proposed for Yankee, but its origin is still uncertain. What we do know is that in its earliest recorded use Yankee was a pejorative term for American colonials used by the British military. The first evidence we have is in a letter written in 1758 by British General James Wolfe, who had a very low opinion of the New England troops assigned to him. We also have a report of British troops using the term to abuse citizens of Boston. In 1775, however, after the battles of Lexington and Concord had shown the colonials that they could stand up to British regulars, Yankee became suddenly respectable and the colonials adopted the British pejorative in defiance. Ever since then, a derisive and a respectable use of Yankee have existed side by side.
Origin and Etymology of yankee
First Known Use: 1758
Definition of Yankee
—a communications code word for the letter y
First Known Use of yankee
YANKEE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of Yankee for English Language Learners
: a person born or living in the U.S.
: a person born or living in the northern U.S.
: a person from New England
Seen and Heard
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