Antedating of "shotgun house" 1903

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Apr 11 17:31:15 UTC 2004

>reference is made to the possibility of the term coming from Yoruba(a West
>African language?)--'to-gun' meaning? a place of assembly.  This is put
>forth in a book by James Deetz _In Small Things Forgotten_ , quoting John
>Vlatch, "shotgun Houses," Natural History, Vol. 87, no. 2(1977), pp. 50-57.
>Any ideas?

Of course I defer to any compelling evidence which may exist. Assuming
there is none ...

A comparable theory (which I just now developed) postulates "shotgun" <
Navajo "hogan"/"hooghan"/"qoghan". This is preferable to the Yoruba
derivation since (1) we know that this word did enter English (as "hogan"),
(2) the meaning is closer, (3) the sound is at least as close.

However I still prefer "shotgun" < English "shotgun".

-- Doug Wilson

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