Date: Tue, 23 Dec 1997 03:23:03 EST
From: Bapopik Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Canuck (Is there a Proto-Algonquian scholar in the house??)
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Minus the Algonquian. I'll get through this in 15 minutes this weekend, no
ADD=American Dialect Dictionary
DA=Dictionary of Americanisms
DAE=Dictionary of American English
DARE=Dictionary of American Regional English
DCHP=Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles
OEDS=Oxford English Dictionary, Supplement
POPIK=Barry Popik (original material, not contained in any of these
RHHDAS=Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang
(1774 E. Long HIST. JAMAICA II III iii. 424 s.v., masquerader...dances at
every doot, bellowing out _John Connu!_)
(1812 Vaux VOCAB. _Knuck_, _knuckler_, or _knuckling cove_, a pickpocket.)
1835 Todd NOTES UPON CANADA 92, Jonathan distinguishes a Dutch or a French
Canadian, by the term _Kanuk_.
DA, DARE, OEDS, RHHDAS
(1838 Parker EXPLORING TOUR 354, The Sandwich islanders, or kanakas, as the
common people are called, have less activity of mind and body than the Indians
of our continent.)
1839 NEW YORK TIMES & COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER, 1 Oct. 2/2. The Buffalo
Commercial Advertiser of Friday says:--For the last twenty-four hours we have
experienced a strong "Northwestern," which has filled our harbor with with
(sic) vessels of every description from the lubberly, uncouth "Cannuck"
schooner, fifty tons, to the magnificent steamboat of five hundred. Those
boats which left for the west yesterday, are reported to have made good the
harbors of Erie and Dunkirk--and we have heard of no disaster except that the
Cincinnati, a small boat running to the falls, is ashore on the Canadian side
opposite Black Rock.
1840 BOSTON TRANSCRIPT 7 Feb. 2/1, The French-Canadian--or _Conuck_, as Her
Majesty's provincial subjects of English and American extraction sometimes
call him--can never, by any means be induced to lay "aside the adominable
practice" (or smoking and chewing in church).
1840 MACKENZIE'S GAZETTE (Rochester, N.Y.) 24 Oct. 24/3, Extract of a letter
in the New York Era, dated Montreal, Sept. 11, 1840...I endeavored to persuade
him that one of the objections made against Mr. Van Buren would apply to Gen.
Harrison, as the latter had beaten their army at Fort Meigs. He said that
story would'nt (sic) go down among the "Kennucks," and insisted upon it,
offering to bet any wager he could prove that Harrison never did any injury to
the British in his life!
1841 UNCLE SAM'S LARGE ALMANAC FOR 1842 25/1-2, The refugees from the
troubles of the Northern colony have brought with them a name, which, being
the result of an effort to pronounce their country and their history in one
word, has come out Connucks...--_Journal of Commerce_ (N.Y.).
(1843 NEW ORLEANS PICAYUNE 5 December 2/4, CANADA...The St. Catharine Journal
states that there is serious trouble among the Irish laborers along the line
of the Welland canal...A few days since a fracas occurred between the
Corkonians and Connaught men...)
1845 NEW ORLEANS PICAYUNE 29 August 1/6, A lively correspondent of the Boston
Atlas gives the following description of a fashionable _soiree_ at the Sault
Ste. Marie:...Such a motley group I do not believe was ever before
seen;--there were French, Canucks, Yankees and half-breeds.
1846 Stewart ALTOWAN 191, The Cannackers, as they were commonly called, set
themselves quietly about reviving their fire.
(1848 BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE 16 May 2/3, In the year 1835, I left the frontier
settlement of the mighty west, and established a trading post on one of the
tributaries of the great father of waters, among the Chippewas, Ottawas, and
Pottawatamie Indians....I filled a pipe with Kinnaknick and offered it to
1849 J. E. Alexander L' ARCADIE I. xvi. 273, Come boys and have some grog,
I'm what you call a canuck.
DCHP, OEDS, RHHDAS
1849 AMHERSTBURG COURIER & WESTERN DISTRICT ADVERTISER, 8 Sept. 3/2, It
that Eastwood, who was in every respect an exemplary soldier, and was about to
be transferred to the Royal Canadian Rifles, occupied the same room with
Smith, and was finding fault with him, at seven o'clock on Thursday morning
for making a disturbance during the night. Upon this, Smith became very
insolent, and said, he was glad they were going to get rid or Eastwood, as he
was going into the b----y Cannucks.
1855 Whitman LEAVES OF GRASS 29, Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give
them the same, I receive them the same.
1855 KNICKERB. XLV April 341, (Giving) our donkey into the keeping of a
lively _Canuck_,...we commence the slow ascent (of Mt. Holyoke).
AG, DAE, OEDS
1857 KNICKERB. XLIX Jan. 40, My grandfather got fifty (old French crowns) at
once from a _Kanuck_ in trading.
1860 Holland MISS GILBERT'S CAREER ii. 29, I'll hang on the tail of it and
try legs with that little Kanuck of his.
1861 CANADIAN NATURALIST Dec. 432, I must add that it is somewhat
supported...by the analogy of another term, namely _Canuc_, which is used
vulgarly and rather contempuously for Canadian, and which seems to me to come
from _Canuchsa_, the word employed by the Iroquois to denote a "hut." Here
_Canadian_ would mean a "townsman" or "villager," but a _canuc_ would be only
1862 CONG. GLOBE 29 April 1867/3, They went...from St. Louis to Canada to buy
the little Canuck ponies at $130 apiece.
AG, DA, DAE, OEDS
1862 HARPER'S WEEKLY 5 July 432, (cartoon) LITTLE JOHNNY KANUCK. "Look here,
Papa, you said if I'd abuse UNCLE SAM, you'd take my part when he came over to
whip me." PAPA JOHN BULL. "Ah! bu that was before the rascal got his
_Monitors_ and _Parrott Guns_. You must take care of yourself, young man."
LITTLE JOHNNY KANUCK (_crying_). "Oh! oh! oh!"
1870 CANADIAN ILLUSTRATED NEWS 4 June 483/3, (poem) The Campaign of O'Neil
the Brave...From their bould determination/ To make Canucks bite the dust/ And
when you meet the Canuck knaves/ Cut up a thunderin' shindy...
1870 CANADIAN ILLUSTRATED NEWS 11 June 499/3, (poem) Uncle Sam and His
Boys...But they fled like darned cowards/ Before the Canuck bands,/ And here
am I, with all the crew/ Again upon my hands!
1871 De Vere AMERICANISMS 589, _Canacks_, _Canucks_, and even _K'nucks_, are
slang terms by which Canadians are known in the United States.
1871 CANADIAN ILLUSTRATED NEWS 22 July 64, (cartoon) JOHNNY CANUCK'S IDEA
IT. JONATHAN.--"I say, Johnny, your ma says I may fish in your pond, if you
like." JOHNNY.--"Well! but I don't like!"
1873 Beadle UNDEVEL. WEST xxxiii. 711, The Yankee shudders as he thinks of
the hard fate of the "Canucks" and "Blue-noses" of British America.
1881-82 Howells MODERN INSTANCE 119, And Fridays I make up a sort of chowder
for the Kanucks; they're Catholics, you know.
1883 MAGAZINE OF AMERICAN HISTORY Nov. 433/2, KANUCK--_Editor Magazine of
American History_: Can you, or your readers, inform me as to what is the
origin of the word _Kanuck_? TORONTO. OCTOBER 1, 1883.
1884 HARPER'S MAGAZINE LXIX June 125, The crews were carefully chosen; a
"Kanuck," or French Canadian, at the oar or the "cordelle," the rope used to
haul a boat up-stream.
AG, DA, OEDS
1884 BOSTON GLOBE 7 Oct. 4/2, A Pickpocket from "Kanuck." Inspectors Burke
and Knox arrested Joseph P. Porrier, a Frenchman, for picking pockets on
Washington street...He says he belongs in Quebec, Canada.
1886 TORONTO CANUCKS (name of new baseball franchise in International League
1886-87, Association 1888-1890; disbanded, but new franchise with same name in
Eastern League 1896-1900, renamed Toronto Royals in 1901).
1886 LIFE 13 May 272/2, CANOEING IN KANUCKIA. By Charles Ledyard Norton and
John Habberton. Illustrated. G. P. Putnam's Sons.
1886 BROOKLYN DAILY TIMES 21 May 1/2, (titles) GOING FOR THE KANUCKS. /THE
ADMINISTRATION ATTACK THE FISHERIES PROBLEM.
1886 PAP. MIL. HIST. SOC. MASS. XIII 27, They were...generally "Canucks," as
the Canada horse is called.
1887 GRIP 19 Feb. 3/2, Who'll buy my caller herrin'?/Cod, turbot, ling,
delicious herrin',/Buy my caller herrin',/They're every one Kanucks!
1887 GRIP 5 March 1/2, Well, what do you think of the Canuck elections?
1887 WASHINGTON POST 16 March 2/1, And the shrewd Kanuck would then float his
catch outside the three-mile limit, and there, in the open sea, would sell it
to the Yankee skipper with none to molest or make him afraid.
1888 C. D. Ferguson, EXP. FORTY-NINER ii. 23, I have often since thought it
would be a good way to advertise horses...for certainly no frontier town ever
saw a grander sight than those four Canucks.
1888 DOMINION ILLUSTRATED 199/1 (heading), Canuckiana.
1889 OUTING Mar. 505 (heading), Snowshoeing in Canuckia.
1889 Barrere & Leland DICT. SLANG I 224, _Canuck_ (American), a Canadian.
The origin of this word appears to be unknown. The derivation from
_Connaught_, an Irishman, is far-fetched and doubtful. It may be possibly the
first syllable of _Can_ada, with an Indian termination, but this is mere
conjecture. _Uc_ or _uq'_ is a common Algenkin ending to nouns. It is
probably an Indian word modified.
1889 Donkin TROOPER & REDSKIN 148, But for pure and unadulterated brag I will
back the lower class Canuck against the world.
1890 NATIONAL POLICE GAZETTE (N.Y.) 16 August 2/2, McKee Rankin produced "The
Canuck," a four-act play, at the Bijou Theatre last week, and thereby set the
theatrical ball in motion in New York, after a summer of extraordinary
silliness. McKee Rankin, the hero of the play, a French Canadian, has a
daughter who runs away and gets married to a man who already has a wife...The
scene of "The Canuck" transpire in Vermont, New York and Canada...Wilton
Lackaye impersonates a metropolitan sport of the day, in a blonde wig and a
curling mustache. His slang phrases, "cuckoo," "bird," "lala," "daisy,"
caught the boys, and his eyes mashed the girls.
1891 Farmer-Henley SLANG 23, _Canack_, _Canuck_, _Kanuck_, _K'nuck_,...A
Canadian, usually a _K'nuck_.
DARE, F-H, RHHDAS
1892 Wentworth ADD 94, (Kans.) Chenuk=a Canadian. Note pron. (sic) Carruth.
1892 Bierce BEETLES 28, I reckon when a man is too tough for the Canuck
police he is tough enough for you to tackle.
1895 CENTURY MAG. Sept. 674/2, That would be convenient over the line among
1897 Howels LANDLORD AT LION'S HEAD (1908) vii. 30, "What's that?" "It's
that Canuck chopping in Whitwell's clearing."
1898 LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE Jan. 131, (short story) CANUCK AND RAOUL....He
looks about fourteen, and is called "C'nuck," in reference, I suppose, to his
1898 (1967) Lefolii CANDIAN LOOK 13 (caption), Uncle Sam to Jack Canuck--"I
hate to see any of the folks leaving home. But when they _do_ go I like to
see 'em go to Canada where they'll feel at home and get square treatment.
1900 NORTH AMERICAN NOTES & QUERIES July 64/1, I would very much like to know
the origin of the expression Canuck applied to the French Canadians.
1902 CANADIAN MAGAZINE (various cartoons), Jack Canuck and John Bull from the
Toronto Daily Star, March 1902 pg. 477; Brother Jonathan mentions Jack Canuck
from the Toronto World, April 1902, pg. 570; Jack Canuck from the Toronto Star
and Jack Canuck from the Toronto World, pages 476-477, March 1903; et al.
1904 H. F. Day KIN O' KTAADN 145, "Roule, roulant, maboule roulant," it's all
Canuck but a good song.
1905 DIALECT NOTES 3.7 (eCT), _Cunnuck_, _Canuck_, or _Knuck_....A Canadian.
1907 Kennedy NEW CANADA 192, "And don't you want to be Americans any longer?"
I asked. "No," said they most emphatically, "we're Canucks now."
1907 N.Y. EVE. POST 22 April 6, Polacks and Canucks have taken the places of
most of the old-time American woodsmen in the Adirondacks.
1907 BOSTON HERALD 2 June 2/4-6, (title) THE SNOWSHOE COURT THAT
JOHNNIE CANUCK. (caption) How the Majesty of the Law Was Brought Home to
1907 DIALECT NOTES 3.183 (seNH), _Canuck_...A French Canadian.
_ibid_ 242 (eME), _Canuck_...A French-Canadian.
1908 Beach BARRIER 28, I reckon when a man is too tough for the Canuck police
he is tough enough for you to tackle.
1908 OBSERVER (Cowansville, Que.) 1 Oct. 1/6, The Toronto Globe has a cartoon
wherein Jack Canuck is walking arm in arm with Laurier and saying, "I like to
walk with a man who can set the pace for me."
1909 Cameron NEW NORTH 260, Failing any or all of these (desired trade
goods), it was in vain that the Factor displayed before them the wares of John
Bull, Uncle Sam, or Johnny Canuck, or any seductive lure made in Germany.
1910 Haydon RIDERS OF PLAINS 113, "Thar ain't no Johnny Canuck kin arrest
1910 T. E. Lawrence LETTERS 17 Dec. (1954) 121, The three Canuck priests.
1910 N.Y. EVE. JOURNAL 28 Mar. 10, The Yanks...itched to put it all over the
1912 Roe WHISPERING HILLS 39, On the face of the swarthy Canuck guide who sat
in the stern there was a weary contempt.
1914 AMER. LUMBERMAN 25 Apr. 33, But Joe, the Cook, a French Canuck/Said,
"Paul, I tink it is ze luck."
1917 C. Matthewson SEC. BASE SLOAN xviii. 243 La Croix was a thick-set, hook-
1917 VANCOUVER DAILY SUN 9 Nov. 3/5-7, (ad) Only "Canuck" Could Have Done
It...Canuck Shot Shells...Dominion Cartridge Co., Limited, Montreal.
1918 LIT. DIGEST 20 April 80, The _poilu_, the Tommy, the Canuck, the Anzac.
1923 AERIAL AGE January 44/2, (ad) The "CANUCK"/a good plane at a right
price/Everything for Canucks, JN4s and OX5 Motors/ERICSON AIRCRAFT LIMITED,
120 King E., Toronto, Canada.
1925 J. O'Hara SEL LETTERS 14, I to appear on your graduation day of
thereabouts and force you into the Canuck trip by appealing to your sporting
blood or something.
1926 Wentworth ADD 94, (Maine) =French Canadian. Obsolesc.
1926 DIALECT NOTES 5.386 (ME), _Canuck_ (accent on second syl.), French-
1930 Irwin AMER. TRAMP 47, _Canuck,_--In the United States, any Canadian;
properly, in Canada, a French-Canadian.
1933-34 "Max Brand" MT. RIDERS 8, A peevish Canuck one day threw an axe at
1934 Wentworth ADD 94, Slang. In U. S. often=any Canadian; in Canada=only
French Canadian. Web.
1938 Holbrook MACKINAW 95, By the time Michigan timber was petering out,
Scandinavians were as numerous as Canucks.
1938 AMER. SPEECH Apr. 156, _Canuck_, a Canadian Curtis plane.
1939 Wolcott YANKEE COOK BOOK 339 (NEng.), The ritual (of maple sugaring)
begins... Father and the hired man and Uncle John and Allie from back of the
mountain, the Coffin boys and Pops Talley and Jean, the Canuck, bore and hang,
estimate the run, hazard weather predicitions--there is no lack of willing
hands during the sapping season.
1941 DIME COMICS (first appearance of Johnny Canuck, the eponymous strongman
hero created by artist Leo Bachle).
1942 ME Univ. STUDIES 56.12, Canadian French were Canucks; South Sea
islanders, especially Hawaiians, were kanakas, a name quite unrelated to
1946 VANCOUVER CANUCKS (name of new Western Hockey League franchise that
joined the National Hockey League in 1970).
1947 DeVoto ACROSS WIDE MISSOURI 197, They chattered...and mingled with the
halfbreeds of all tribes and their dear friends the Yankees, Canucks,
Mexicans, and Kanakas.
1953 Berrey & Van Den Bark AMERICAN THESAURUS OF SLANG, 3rd ed.
pg. 48: CANADA. Canuckland, Kanuckland, Jack Canuck's country, Land of the
Bing Boys, Land of the Pea-Souper.
pg. 188: FOREIGN LANGUAGE. Canuck, Kanuck, _French-Canadian_.
pg. 346: CANADIAN. Bing Boy. _Spec._ Canuck, Jack Canuck, Kanuck, _esp. a
1953 Roche HOCKEY BOOK xvii, There were baseball, football & lacrosse game
during other seasons, but in winter there was nothing but idleness for red-
blooded, sports-loving Johnny Canucks.
1954 Boehm RAID (film), "I'm Canadian." "We'll take Canucks."
1957 CANADIAN RED CROSS JUNIOR Nov. 17, John comes into many nicknames, here
are a few of them, John Bull...Johnny Canuck, a Canadian soldier, and Johnny
Raw, a new recruit.
1958 McCulluoch WOODS WORDS 29 (Pacific NW), _Canucker_--A logger from north
of the border.
1958 (1971) Kerouac SUBTERRANEANS 5, I am a Canuck, I could not speak English
till I was 6 or 6, at 16 I spoke with a halting accent.
1959 VT HIST. new ser. 27.129 (nVT), Canuck...French Canadian.
1959 MACLEAN'S 1 Aug. 1/2, Millions of Asians, Africans and Europeans who'll
never see a travelling hockey team or a cartoon of Johnny Canuck, have only
one image: the men and women of our foreign service.
1963 GLOBE AND MAIL 2 Feb. 6/1, Any trend by the big brother to the south to
tell Canadians how to run their affairs can raise Canuck dander very quickly.
1963 CITIZEN 30 May 12/5, What is the origin of the nickname Jack Canuck? It
probably comes from the name Connaught, the nickname given more than 100 years
ago by French Canadians to Canadians of Irish origin.
1964 CANADA MONTH Jan. 38/2, That's the spirit of USA which Johnny Canuck
will never catch up with.
1964 CALGARY HERALD 19 March 18/6, The Scottish skip missed a wide open
takeout in the fifth leaving the Canucks another single.
1965 H. Gold MAN WHO WAS NOT WITH IT xxvi. 249, _Bon jour, Grack, tu viens
enfin_? That's Canuck for you ain't been a son to your ma.
1965 Linakis IN SPRING 34, This didn't include limeys and canucks.
1965-1970 DARE (Qu. HH28) 165 Infs (chiefly Nth, esp. NEast), Canuck; (MA45)
French Canuck; (CT23) French-Canadian Canuck.
1967 Lefolii CANADIAN LOOK 10/3, As far as I know, Johnny made his first
appearance as a cartoon character in an 1869 copy of Grinchuckle (pg. 12), a
new Montreal journal that billed itself as "a magazine of mirth and opinion."
The cartoonist had already translated Johnny into a Western hat and vaguely
British field uniform and used him as a symbol for young Canadians regardless
1968-70 DARE Tape (CA) 103, This lady...is a Canuck. You know who a Canuck
is? (FW:) No. (INF:) A Canadian; (MI121) Quite a few of the new settlers
came from Ontario--Canadians--Canucks we called 'em.
1969 DARE FW (Addit. VT), I can call myself a Canuck, but you'd better not
call me one.
1970 M. Orkin SPEAKING CANADIAN ENGLISH 68, The early Canadianisms which have
remained are deeply embedded in our history..._Canuck_ (1849)...
1972 Bernstein & Woodward PRESIDENT'S MEN 132, We don't have blacks but we
1975 R. Comely CAPTAIN CANUCK No. 1 July (comic book).
1975 AMERICAN SPEECH vol. 50, Summer, 158-160, "THE ETYMOLOGY OF
(Jacob Adler of the University of Hawaii at Manoa argues for _kanaka-Canuck_,
but without historical citations; a letter by Mitford M. Matthews of the
DICTIONARY OF AMERICANISMS that supports _kanaka_ is reprinted).
1975 McCraig DANGER TRAIL 3, The Canuck government is...closing down the
1975 Gould ME LINGO 42, _Canuck_--The word originated in Maine lumber camps
for a French-Canadian working in the Maine woods. It did not mean a French-
Canadian anywhere else, and when a British-Columbia hockey team called itself
the _Canucks_ the word was far afield. Over the years, as _Canuck_ took on an
objectionable tone, the word has been superceded somewhat by _Kaybecker_...
French-speaking Canadians from Quebec were _Canucks_.
1978 AMERICAN SPEECH vol. 53, fall, 176-178 (James Sledd of the University of
Texas at Austin follows the 1975 article and also argues for _kanaka-Canuck_,
but also does not consider Algonquian sources).
1979 Terkel AMER. DREAMS XVIII, You room with a French Canuck.
1984 E. Partridge DICTIONARY OF SLANG AND UNCONVENTIONAL ENGLISH, 8th ed.,
180, Canuck, occ. Canack, K(a)nuck. A Canadian: in England, from ca. 1915.
Orig (1855) a Can. and American term for a French Canadian, which, inside
Canada, it still means. Etymology obscure: perhaps _Can_ada + _uc_ (_uq_),
the Algonquin n.-ending; W., however, proposes, I think rightly, ex _Canada_
1984 N.Y. TIMES BOOK REVIEW 1 Jan. 3, Me? I'm just a Canuck.
1994 N.Y. TIMES WEEK IN REVIEW 12 June E5/4-5, "Just as well call Americans
Yanks, we call Canadians Canucks," said Lisa Ryan, a spokeswoman for the
Vancouver Canucks. "It's much like the New York Yankees."...Ms. Ryan said a
lot of people have lately been asking about the Canuck name and how it was
chosen, but nothing has been found in the archives to explain it. The team
began in 1970 as the third National Hockey League team in Canada, following
Toronto and Montreal. Maybe it was simply that the Montreal club already
owned the appellation Canadiens....The term Canuck was apprently first used in
a 1849 (sic) travel book...The word again surfaced in a story in The New York
Times of 1865 tracing the path of John Wilkes Booth. In a game of billiards a
year before he assassinated Lincoln, Booth is quoted as admiring the "Canadian
style," whatever that was. He said, "I must post myself in Canuck airs, for
some of us devils may have to settle there shortly"...In a 1972 letter, Prime
Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau said some think the term "Canuck" applies to
all Canadians, some to Eastern Canadians, some to French Canadians. Is it
nasty? "Whether or not you commited an ethnic slur," he said, "depends
entirely on the way the word is used."
1994 TORONTO STAR 24 Sept., (Words by Lew Gloin) Canuck? Who uses the bloody
words, anyway? Well, several Star writers and the editor-in-chief of Canadian
dictionaries for Oxford University Press, that's who, for starters.