conundrum onomasticum (Algonquian word for U.S. president)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Jul 11 22:50:06 UTC 2004

>>The Miami-Illinois term for the president of the United States and the
>>U.S. government, which has cognates in various Eastern Great Lakes
>>Algonquian languages, is /meetaathsoopia/. (Ottawa has, for example,
>>/medaasoobid/ 'Washington, D.C.' and Meskwaki has /meetaasoopita/
>>'president of the U.S., U.S.government.)
>>The MI name for Washington D.C. is /meetaathsoopionki/.
>>/meetaathsoopia/ means 'ten-sit-person'.
>>I'm wondering what the number ten, or sitting for that matter, had to do
>>with the U.S. president/government. Any conjectures?

Conjectures are easy to come by, I guess. Reasonable ones are more difficult.

When were the Algonquian words in question first used?

In particular, did any of these words predate the term of President Madison?

-- Doug Wilson

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