yannigan bag (lumberjack term): Is it actually attested anywhere in context?

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Thu Jan 2 14:52:09 UTC 2003

>     Is the term "yannigan" (lumberjack's carpetbag) attested in context
> anywhere?

I surely can't find it immediately.

"Yannigan" = "scrub player" appears in Mathews and in MW2 and MW3, with
possible etymology from "young-un" = "young one".

"Yannigan" looks like a surname (cf. Finnegan, Bennigan, Hooligan) and
indeed I find both Yannigan and Yanigan (as well as Yanahan) as
(infrequent) surnames. There is for example a Mary Yanigan gravestone
(1867-1906) in my general neighborhood.

I find "rookie" (young/undisciplined) soldiers called "Yanigans" in
discussion of the My Lai incident on the Web (so maybe the term isn't
entirely obsolete after all?). "Yannigan" apparently had a broader sense of
"youngster"/"rookie" (beyond baseball) earlier too (based on a single 1904
example which appears to refer to junior reporters).

I find one mention of a Hartford baseball player (1885) named "Con
Yannigan" on the Web: I don't know whether there was ever really such a
person nor even what team might have existed in Hartford in 1885 (my
knowledge of baseball is very slight).

-- Doug Wilson

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