wachal robert s rwachal at BLUE.WEEG.UIOWA.EDU
Wed Aug 4 11:27:11 UTC 1999

As i pointed out in a paper I cave at DSNA and which soon may be
published, 'Canuck' is not in the least offensive, as Canadian linguists
and lay folk have told me.  Note the hockey team , the Vancouver Canucks.

When PC became a hot button issue, dictionary makers went wholesale
calling every nickname offensive apparently without checking the facts.

Bob Wachal

On Tue, 3 Aug 1999, D. Ezra Johnson wrote:

> >Terry:
> >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
> 'Canadian'"?
> 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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