Are you a Yankee?

To me an American,

To you, New England?


Wikipedia has a fascinating entry for the word Yankee.  To me, in the UK, and also in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Canada, it means an American. It even translates phonetically in other languages, yanqui, janke, jänkare, jekii, yankī. To an American from the South it means a Northerner, to a Northerner it means a New Englander, to a New Englander it means a Connecticut person, or a Vermonter, depending on the reference, and to a Connecticut or Vermont person it means someone descended from the early English settlers.

Y is for Yankee in th NATO phonetic alphabet!

A Yankee haiku
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14 thoughts on “A Yankee haiku

  • 29 April, 2014 at 7:24 am

    As an American (now living in Sweden), Yankee means both American as well as someone from New England. There was a “test” floating around the internet some years ago to see if one was “a Yankee or a Dixie” meaning if you more northern or southern oriented in your choice of word usage. I had no idea Yankee could get narrowed down so specifically, depending on one’s region. Interesting! 🙂

    • 29 April, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Well, I rely on Wikipedia for this! There are some interesting tests around, some of which have sematics/ethnographic bases. I was told in my writing class that British women tend to use Saxon-root language and men tend to use Latin-root language, but I have no idea whether that is true or not – and to what extent the tendencies are statistically robust. Most of them have ranges that overlap too much to be reliable. 🙂

  • 29 April, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Southerner, here. So Yankee is any Northerner. But I never knew New Englanders had their own pecking order of who was or wasn’t a Yankee. That’s funny.
    Visiting from A to Z~
    Wendy at Jollett Etc.

    • 29 April, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      I suspect it’s like jokes. When I was in Ireland, I found the butt of what I thought of as ‘Irish’ jokes, the Irish told with the Cork or Limerick people as the butt. When I was in Chicago in the 70s, the same joke worked with Polish as the butt. I’m sure we all have people we feel superior to – our pecking order, as you say. Interesting I had a conversation on another blog on this subject – ,Ragged Writers, I think.

  • 29 April, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Of course I liked this post! – I am a Yankee, having grown up in Plymouth, Massachusetts. I’m also a DAR – Daughter of the American Revolution. However, we’ve lived here in Chapel Hill since 1981, so I find myself torn. Most of the time I now think of myself as Southern, and there is a link on my blog site to a story I wrote (the first published) entitled When I Became North Carolinian. It was written in response to a fellow writer who told me I’d never be Southern; he hales from a farm in the middle of the state. It made him laugh, so maybe I convinced him!

    • 29 April, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      This thing about one’s roots is interesting. I lost mine a long time ago. Then I put some down and pulled them up again. It’s more common these days than in the previous generation, in the UK, at any rate.

  • 29 April, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I was aware that a Yank was any US sort when abroad, and a New Englander closer to home, but never thought if it got any more specific than that!

    What do I know? I’m a Westerner 🙂

  • 29 April, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    That’s very interesting! I write about the history of the American West and I only think of the “Southern” version. Great post!

    • 29 April, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks for visiting Darla! Hope we can keep up with each other in the future.

  • 29 April, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    OK, that was so funny to read. I’ve always taken “Yankee” to mean those northerners in the US and of course our baseball team up North. There’s much more to being a Yankee than I thought – so interesting! Thanks for the fun reading today!

    • 29 April, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      You’re very welcome, Sue. Thanks for visiting 🙂

  • 30 April, 2014 at 2:30 am

    I did not know all the details with this word. I knew it meant American and more northern. I picked this up from older movies about the civil war as it was in the writing ie -Gone With the Wind-Dang Yankees.

    • 30 April, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      I suspect most Europeans think the same, Birgit. Thanks for visiting!

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