Dutch to English via New Amsterdam was: Cookies

Dan Goodman dsgood at VISI.COM
Fri Mar 7 05:59:12 UTC 2003

> Date:    Thu, 6 Mar 2003 13:04:35 EST
> From:    "James A. Landau" <JJJRLandau at AOL.COM>
> Subject: Re: Cookies
> In a message dated 3/1/2003 7:20:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:
> > [for "cookie"] Merriam-Webster and other sources have 1703, from the
> > Dutch "koekje," or "little cake."    <snip>
> >
> > by Henry Hexham
> > Rotterdam: Aernovt Leers
> > 1648
> >
> > _een Koeck_, A Cake.
> > _een koecksken_, A little Cake.
> > <etc.>
> This raises (like yeast) a thought:  What is called a "cookie" in the US is
> called a "biscuit" by the British (I don't know about the Canadians),
> whereas in the US "biscuit" means either "a small quick bread..." (MWCD10)
> or seabiscuit/hardtack.
> Why?  And why the unusual singular ending "-ie"?
> It's been pointed out on ADS-L that in the 16th and 18th Centuries the
> British and Dutch fought a few wars and had a long-standing commercial
> rivalry, leading to the British using "Dutch" as a disparaging or
> perjorative term.  I suppose you could call this the "Gook Syndrome".
> On the other hand, traditionally in the US the Dutch are thought of in much
> friendlier fashion as those people from New Amsterdam.
> It seems an obvious guess that "cookie" entered American English via New
> Amsterdam, bypassing British English.  Does anyone know if this be true?
> Are there other terms that entered English from Dutch via New Amsterdam?
> The only one I can think of is "Santa Claus", whom I think the British call
> "Father Christmas".  Well, there is the made-up "Rip van Winkle".

Boss (from the same word as Afrikaans baas.  Stoop (as an architectural
term).  Pit (as in peach pit -- alternative to peach stone).  That's off
the top of my head.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list