Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 22 02:05:16 UTC 2008

On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 9:09 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
> I've seen two-spirit in connection with Native Americans in the US. I
> don't know if it's used outside that context. Wikipedia has it as
> well:, which says it
> originated in 1990. That seems pretty recent to me. BB

To be precise, the Wikipedia article asserts 1990 origin of the
English "two-spirit", not of its etymon:


"Two-spirit" originated in Winnipeg, Canada in 1990 during the third
annual intertribal Native American/First Nations gay and lesbian
conference. It is a calque of the Ojibwa phrase niizh manidoowag (two
spirits). It was chosen to distance Native/First Nations people from
non-natives as well as from the words "berdache" and "gay."[6]


Mark Mandel

The American Dialect Society -

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