O Brave New Words!

O Brave New Words!

Native American Loanwords in Current English

Book - 1994
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O Brave New Words! by Charles L. Cutler is the first book published on the more than one thousand North American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut words in the English vocabulary. Though little acknowledged, these loanwords are indispensable today. They name animals and fish that sustained Indians and early settlers: moose, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, sockeye, and terrapin. They designate plants common in North America: catalpa, hickory, pecan, tamarack, and tupelo. And they identify foods originating with the Native Americans: corn pone, hominy, and succotash. Organized along historical lines, the book intersperses background chapters between narrative chapters that trace the European settlers' acquisition of an Indian-derived vocabulary. Cutler examines which Native American words were selected and the rate of loanword borrowing; fluctuations in borrowing, he demonstrates, reflect crucial events in European settlement and changes in the relationship between whites and Indians. The borrowing of Native American words continues today, though at a slower pace. The author also surveys the thousands of Native American place-names that dot North America, the more than fifteen hundred Latin American Indian loanwords, and the more than one hundred "Indianisms", such as "forked tongue", "Happy Hunting Ground", and "Indian summer". Two glossaries provide pronunciations, dates of first recorded use, etymologies, and brief definitions of all North American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut words current in English. An appendix lists all the Latin American Indian loanwords.
Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1994
ISBN: 0806126558 (alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: 422.97 CUT
Characteristics: 286 p

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