D. Ezra Johnson ezra_50 at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 4 01:37:35 UTC 1999

>Re "resources." Maybe the announcer was an expatriate Canuck -

The AHD has "Offensive Slang. A Canadian, esp. a French Canadian",
so I was a bit surprised to see the more generic use here, esp. since in
matters of English pronunciation the French Canucks differ noticeably from
the rest.

Could Barbara Harris, or anyone else, give their thoughts on the current
use(s) of the term? (besides "esp. a French", there's the apparent
overstatement "offensive slang")

And what about improving on the AHD's etymology: "prob. alteration of


P.S. Random House has "Slang (sometimes offensive)", then word-for-word the
same definition as AHD, then the rather wondrous etymology

"1825-35; perh. ult. to be identified with _kanaka_ 'Hawaiian, South Sea
Islander' [literally Hawaiian for 'person'], since both French Canadians and
such islanders were employed in the Pacific Northwest fur trade; later
reanalyzed as Can[adian] + a suffix"

Is it just me, or is that a bit farfetched (literally)?
The AHD explanation seems more prob. than the RH's.

(Or perh. it's an alteration of the French 'Canadien' -- but only if French
Canadians used that word in the early 19th century)

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