Chicago Etymology Revisited

carljweber carljweber at MSN.COM
Tue Dec 18 23:59:57 UTC 2001

> Italian speakers often chuckle when they hear "Chicago." In Italian,
> homonym for Chicago -- "ci cago" -- means "I crap there."
> Steve Boatti
>I was told by a Portuguese gentleman that in Portuguese it sounds
like "he
>crapped on himself" -- of course when spoken with Portuguese stress
Two things. First, #2: An essay I wrote DID pick up on the "-kaka"
early in my investigation, the better to rule out an IndoEuropean
cognate, should it arise, as it has. My paper was at the ready.

As for #1: IF Chicago' name were from the Proto-Algonquian meaning
"skunk" (and in the Miami/Illinois also, by extension, a particular
sometimes-foul smelling onion/leek/garlic -- it would break down as
URINE+small animal +stem extender+gender marker (Siebert's analysis).
It would also be, as such, a homonym for La Salle's "Checagou," the
original form.

The Indian's word was an item of maledicta, the Indian pulling a
linguistic hoax on Henri Joutel in late 1687. Le Boulanger in 1720
calling the Chicago-word, when used for the onions, "abusive."

Carl Jeffrey Weber

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