"yanky" as applied to ships

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Dec 12 17:34:35 UTC 2010

The OED has for "yanky, n."

Etymology:  Of doubtful status, origin, and meaning. Perhaps Dutch
Janke, applied originally to a particular ship, and so identical with
Yankee n. and adj. (q.v.). The following examples of Yankee in the
proper names of ships may be compared <
1776    M. Cutler in W. P. Cutler & J. P. Cutler Life & Corr. M.
Cutler (1888) I. 55   They were in the Yankee Hero.

The privateer "Yankee Hero" is reported in London newspapers of 1776,
when (IIRC) it was captured by the British.  [Burney Collection Newspapers.]


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