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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Yankees


To most of the world, a Yankee is a citizen of the United States. But within the US, there are Yankees, and then there are Yankees.


A Yankee can be a Northerner, a citizen of one of the states that made up the Union, or the North, in the American Civil War.


If you're already in one of the Union states, Yankee-ness increases as you head north and east until you reach New England, the six states in the northeast corner of the United States. According to dictionary.com, "Yankee", first used in 1765, is a corruption of Jan Kees, (John Cheese), the name by which the Dutch inhabitants of Nieuw Amsterdam referred to their Connecticut neighbors.


But even in New England, the degree of Yankee-ness increases to the north and east. Boston Brahmins and the residents of northern New Hampshire and Maine are Yankee-er than their fellow New Englanders


And at the very pinnacle of Yankee-ness, those Yankee-est of the Yankees, are those who trace their ancestry to the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower in 1620.


These nuances can be fun or annoying, depending on your point of view. In the end, none of them matter. On that Yankee-est of days, July 4, Independence Day, all Yankees, of whatever type or degree, wish our country a Happy Birthday.


Happy Fourth of July to Yankees everywhere.


Thank you all,

Linda

Linda Banche

Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal

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11 comments:

Savanna Kougar said...

Linda, that was great... I never knew there were such variations in being a Yankee... but, you forgot 'damn yankees' from the Southern point of view... lol... I couldn't resist, living in a border state.

Happy Independence Day... may liberty live forever!

Lindsay Townsend said...

Linda- I agree with Savanna, fab blog! I always wondered how Americans viewed and defined Yankees.

Happy Independence Day!

Linda Banche said...

Yes, Savanna, "Yankee" can also have a derogatory connotation.

Lindsay, I just found this aphorism on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee)

"A humorous aphorism attributed to E.B. White summarizes these distinctions:

To foreigners, a Yankee is an American.
To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner.
To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner.
To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander.
To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter.
And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast."

which says about the same thing I did.

Mona Risk said...

Linda, I learned a lot about Yankees. In Cincinnati, we called anyone from New York a yankee.

Susan Macatee said...

Great post, Linda! I guess it's all linked to which perspective you have. LOL.

Have a great holiday!

Linda Banche said...

Hi Mona, Susan, Yes, I guess it's all perspective. New Yorkers are definitely Yankees if you're from Cincinnati. I'm from Connecticut, so New Yorkers aren't Yankees to me.

Happy Fourth!

Jacquie Rogers said...

When I hear "yankee" I think baseball. The Yankees have a new stadium in the Bronx and the highest payroll in baseball.

I guess that comes from growing up in a baseball family out west. LOL

Jacquie

LK Hunsaker said...

Fun post, Linda! Being from IL and having ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, I consider myself pure Yankee. For a while I was a misplaced Yankee living in the south.

Actually lots of us northerners from anywhere in the north (particularly midwest and east of that) consider ourselves Yankees.

"I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy...."

Linda Banche said...

Hi Jacquie. If you do a search on baseball, the first thing you find is the Yankee baseball team.

Hi Loraine, we'll all Yankee Doodle Dandies, especially on July 4.

Janice said...

I grew up in California so I always considered myself a Yankee. But I have deep Southern roots on either side of my family tree, and a great-grand father who fought on the civil war, a rebel too. I guess I may not be a Yankee after all, lol.

Janice~

Linda Banche said...

Hey, Janice, it takes all kinds!