At least in the movies, most people must have heard of how people in the United States of America are called "Yankees." The very fact of the existence of a nickname among a whole people will hardly surprise anyone. However, it is extremely important to know what this word means, and whether it can be used in everyday life when talking with the people of America. Let's try to figure it out.
Today, around the etymology of the word "Yankee" linguists still continue to break spears. There are two more or less plausible versions of his appearance. The first so-called "Indian" version, according to which this word comes from the language of the Cherokee Indians. The word sounded like "eankke" and meant only "coward". In this unpretentious way, the natives of America called the colonists of New England. However, it is important to emphasize that this is only one of the versions. The second version is "Dutch". It boils down to the fact that the nickname of the inhabitants of New England appeared due to the combination of the popular Dutch names "Jan" and "Kees". It is important to clarify here that in the 17th century, emigrants from the Netherlands actively poured into America.
Regardless of how exactly the word "Yankee" appeared, the way it was later used is of much greater importance. When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, New England residents split into rebel revolutionaries and crown loyalists. It was then that the loyalists and royal troops began to actively call their opponents the word "Yankees". In semantic meaning, "Yankees" in this context can be compared with the word "Fritz" in Russian in relation to German soldiers. Thus, the given nickname is derogatory.
In 1861, the American Civil War broke out between North and South. And again the word "Yankees" began to be actively used as an offensive name. It was used by the fighters of the army of the slave-owning South in relation to the fighters and inhabitants of the industrial North in order to emphasize their own otherness. For this, among other things, there were national-ethnic prerequisites, since mainly descendants of French and English colonists lived in the northern states, and in the southern states there was a representative diaspora of hereditary Germans and Spaniards.
The word "Yankees" continued to live in its offensive context in the XX century. After the end of World War II, US influence skyrocketed to unprecedented heights amid the destruction of Western European states. The rise of American influence was disliked by many politicians and public figures in the Old World, resulting in the derogatory anti-Americanism of "Yankee go home!" (Yankee, get home!) It was invented in France in 1948 on the basis of rejection of American culture and politics.
Of course, the meaning of the word "Yankee" can vary depending on the context. Sometimes it is used by the inhabitants of today's "New England" themselves in a comic context: "Yes, we are just like that and we have nothing to be ashamed of!" However, more often than not, the word "Yankee" still remains an insult. It is clearly not worth using it outside a close circle of friends. In the United States itself, this is comparable to the words "Negro" and "Niger" (the first is the designation of the representatives of the Negroid race, the second is an insulting name for blacks during the slavery in the South of the United States). In terms of the degree of derogation, this word can be compared with the name for the inhabitants of Russia, derived from the famous warm Soviet garment.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then you should read about 10 overseas habitsthat make us twirl our fingers at our temples.