[Ads-l] hat name

Benjamin Barrett mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 29 18:38:49 UTC 2016

I think last year, I was told about the word “hat name,” referring to a name, particularly a surname, assigned to a Native American by drawing it out of a hat.

I have tried several Google searches but have not found this term. The best citation I have found is by Salish at http://yhoo.it/1LXCfny:

Mine is Purser. I am Suquamish. Other common last names here…. Sir names are not part of our culture.The only reason we have them is because the U.S. government assigned them. My great grandpa literally drew his english names out of a hat. 

It seems like an important historical term if it is or has been in use.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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