Yankee

The term Yankee (sometimes shortened to Yank) has several interrelated meanings, referring to people from the United States. Within the US it refers to people originating in the northeastern US, or still more narrowly New England, where application of the term is largely restricted to the descendants of colonial English settlers in the region. Outside the US it is used to refer to people from the US in general.

The meaning of Yankee has varied over time. In the 18th century, it referred to residents of New England descended from the original English settlers of the region. Mark Twain, in the following century, used the word in this sense in his novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, published in 1889. As early as the 1770s, British people applied the term to any person from what became the US. In the 19th century, Americans in the southern United States employed the word in reference to Americans from the northern United States (though not to recent emigrants from Europe; thus a visitor to Richmond, Virginia, in 1818 commented, "The enterprising people are mostly strangers; Scots, Irish, and especially New England men, or Yankees, as they are called").

The truncated form Yank is especially popular among Britons and Australians, and may sometimes be considered offensive or disapproving.

Read more about Yankee:  Yankee Doodle, Yankee Cultural History

Famous quotes containing the word yankee:

    Yankee Doodle came to London, just to ride the ponies,
    I am a Yankee Doodle boy.
    George M. Cohan (1878–1942)

    The other 1000 are principally the ‘old Yankee stock,’ who have lost the town, politically, to the Portuguese; who deplore the influx of the ‘off-Cape furriners’; and to whom a volume of genealogy is a piece of escape literature.
    —For the State of Massachusetts, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
    A Yankee Doodle do or die;
    A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam’s,
    Born on the fourth of July.
    George M. Cohan (1878–1942)