Fixing "Squaw" Names

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Sep 25 14:23:04 UTC 2007

>Also note that the gloss of "squaw" in the article is "whore." The
>other common gloss for the word is "cunt."

  Without commenting on the merit of erasing "squaw" names, or the practice of removing the "w," I do feel the need to ask the rhetorical question: Doesn't anybody look in a
  &^%**%$#@! dictionary any more?

  Note "rhetorical."


Grant Barrett <gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Grant Barrett
Subject: Fixing "Squaw" Names

Here's a letter-of-the-law tactic taken by people resistant to a
seven-year-old Maine law that requires renaming places with "squaw"
in their names: dropping the "w" in the word.


"Five landmarks or groups use the name Squaw in one form or another
in Stockton Springs. For a number of years, a private road providing
access to exclusive waterfront homes was called Squaw Point Road. The
homes belonged to the Squaw Point Home Owners Association. In
response to complaints, the association renamed itself and its road
Squapoint. [...] Hayes said the town has been in contact with the
Human Rights Commission investigator and informed the commission of
the boardÂ’s decision to drop the 'w' from the word."

Also note that the gloss of "squaw" in the article is "whore." The
other common gloss for the word is "cunt."

Grant Barrett
Double-Tongued Dictionary
editor at

The American Dialect Society -

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