Re: [ADS-L] ADS-L D igest - 19 Feb 2008 to 20 Feb 2008 (#20 08-52)

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Thu Feb 21 20:59:46 UTC 2008

In a message dated 2/21/08 3:52:27 PM, gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM writes:

> The names were surely invented by Americans who were not necessarily
> familiar with Native American languages in times when trying to get
> details like that was far, far less important than providing
> something Americans would believe.
> I, and I'm sure, most of the people on the list simply want to know
> where the names come from. If you have the definitive answer or know
> why the people who created the series would not have used Spanish,
> please let us know!

The broadcasts themselves identify Kemosabe as supposedly meaning "Trusted
Friend" or "Trusted Scout" in "Potawatomai." If "Tonto" was ascribed any meaning
by the creators of the series, either radio or TV, no one has yet reported
it. But it clearly had nothing to do with the Spanish word "tonto," and indeed
it seems most likely that the creators chose it because it sounded
foreign--convincingly "Indian" to Americans in the 1930s.

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