What is the origin of the word 'yankee' (any connection to Independence Day?)

From M-W Online

The Word of the Day for July 04 is:

[i]Yankee YANG-kee noun

1 a : a native or inhabitant of New England b : a native or inhabitant of the northern U.S.
*2 : a native or inhabitant of the U.S.

Example sentence:
“They mistake who assert that the Yankee has few amusements…and men and boys do not play so many games as they do in England.” (Henry David Thoreau, Walden)

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 American 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.

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence[/i].

Very useful information, Mr.Micawber!

I think Amy(Yankee) is the very person who can give some comments on it :smiley:

Hi Mr. Canadian-Yank :lol:

How very appropriate to post something about Yankees on Independence Day. :smiley:

Yes, you’re right. The word Yankee has both positive and negative meanings. But, I guarantee you, in the northeastern part of the USA (and particularly New England), the word “Yankee” is a source of pride. :smiley:

Do you happen to know the story behind “Yankee Doodle”?



I seem to reall learning it at one time, but have since forgotten. Could you enlighten us?