Wiskinkie etymology

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Mar 1 14:25:13 UTC 2009

OED Wiskinkie
[Etym. unknown.]
   The official of the Tammany Society of New York charged with the office of
1800 Commercial Advertiser (N.Y.) 3 Jan. 2/3 Tammany Society, in the following
order: 1st, The Wiskinkie, supporting the Cap of Liberty veiled in crape.....

Tammany borrowed American Indian names; this apparently comes from such a word
meaning eye(s).

Watch-Tower, page [4], vol. 8, [col. 4 America's Hist N.] iss. 569
Publication Date:
May 12, 1807
Published as:
Republican Watch-Tower.
New York, New York
Tammany Society-or Columbian Order. Grand Anniversary Festival
Article Type:
[at Tammony] The Wiskinkie will see that no slave or tyrant enters,

Mémoire sur le système grammatical des langues de quelques nations indiennes
By Peter Stephen Du Ponceau, Pierre Etienne DuPonceau 1838 Google full view
Algonquin ...Wiskinki 1
1 1 Dans certaines sociétés américaines, qui affectent de prendre des
dénominations indiennes, le grand surveillant s'appelle le Wiskinki.

Transactions and Collections of the American Antiquarian Society 1836 p369
J. Long.
Eye wiskinky

Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society
 By Massachusetts...1843 p144 Chippeway (From Long's Travels, Lond. edt. 1791)
3. Wiskinky (eyes)
 presumably a reference to:
Voyages and travels of an Indian interpreter and trader :
describing the manners and customs of the North American Indians ; with an
account of the posts situated on the river Saint Laurence, lake Ontario, &c. ;
to which is added a vocabulary of the Chippeway language ... [and] a list of
words in the Iroquois, Mohegan, Shawanee, and Esquimeaux tongues, and a table,
shewing the analogy between the Algonkin and Chippeway languages /

J Long, Indian trader.
English Book Book x, 295 p. : folded map ; 30 cm.
London : Printed for the author, and sold by Robson ,

Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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