3 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Yankee \Yan"kee\, noun [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 English colonists of Connecticut by the Dutch settlers of New York. Dr. W. Gordon ("Hist. of the Amer. War," ed, 1789, vol. i., pp. 324, 325) says it was a favorite cant word in Cambridge, Mass., as early as 1713, and that it meant excellent; as, a yankee good horse, yankee good cider, etc. Cf. Scot yankie a sharp, clever, and rather bold woman, and Prov. E. bow-yankees a kind of leggins worn by agricultural laborers.] A nickname for a native or citizen of New England, especially one descended from old New England stock; by extension, an inhabitant of the Northern States as distinguished from a Southerner; also, applied sometimes by foreigners to any inhabitant of the United States.

From meanness first this Portsmouth Yankey rose, And still to meanness all his conduct flows. --Oppression, A poem by an American (Boston, 1765).

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Yankee \Yan"kee\, adjective Of or pertaining to a Yankee; characteristic of the Yankees.

The alertness of the Yankee aspect. --Hawthorne.

{Yankee clover}. (Bot.) See {Japan clover}, under {Japan}.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: used by Southerners for an inhabitant of a northern state in the United States (especially a Union soldier)


1: an American who lives in the North (especially during the American Civil War) [syn: {Yankee}, {Yank}, {Northerner}]

2: an American who lives in New England [syn: {New Englander}, {Yankee}]

3: an American (especially to non-Americans) [syn: {Yankee}, {Yank}, {Yankee-Doodle}]

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:25:29 AM Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)