Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 13:54:24 EDT


Subject: Yankee?

My intuition on this (one I in fact committed to print in a couple of papers I

wrote a while [*awhile] ago) is that while the first three represent truly

distinct concentric senses of 'Yankee', once we narrow it beyond 'New

Englander', we're dealing with prototype semantics. A "true" Yankee may be

one from Vermont or New Hampshire rather than Connecticut, but it's not really

possible to come up with a strict set of necessary and jointly sufficient con-

ditions for Yankeehood. I suggest in the aforementioned papers (NELS 14 and

BLS 10, both 1984) that a Maine lobsterman or a Vermont farmer--especially one

with the accent in those Pepperidge Farm commercials [and now there's a new

batch for Poland Spring]--may qualify as a true Yankee more than a Greenwich

stockbroker. But there's more to it; a Yankee may have to be of WASP heritage

(excluding Irish or Italian Catholics--was JFK a Yankee?--along with Jews,

blacks, Hispanics, Asians, or other "ethnics"), or s/he may have to be an nth

generation local (but not a true Native American). I doubt you'll find

official lexicons in which the restriction is to "Vermonter", much less to

"Vermonter who eats apple pie for breakfast". Rather, these categories serve

as putative diagnostics for measuring distance from the prototype (or stereo-

type). If you're a Jewish Yoruba/Korean dreadlocked rap singer and fakir,

moving to Vermont and eating apple pie for breakfast won't make you a Yankee.


----------------------------Original message----------------------------

Last weekend my wife found the following boilerplate in a newspaper:

If you live outside the United States, a Yankee

is someone who comes from the United States.

If you live in the United States, a Yankee

is someone who lives north of the Mason-Dixon line.

If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line a Yankee

is someone who comes from New England.

If you live in New England, a Yankee

is someone who comes from Vermont.

If you live in Vermont, a Yankee

is someone who eats apple pie for breakfast.

The first three usages are well established in the dictionary record (See:

World Book Dictionary, American College Dictionary, and Merriam-Webster's

10th Collegiate for instance). However, I am looking for corroberation of

using Yankee to refer to a Vermonter or a Vermonter who eats apple pie for

breakfast. I have checked Dict. of Americanisms and Dict. of American

English without finding support. Similarly unsupportive are unabridged

Random House and Merriam-Webster, OED and OEDS (both versions). Does anyone

on ADS-L know of these usages?

Thanks for your help.

Barnhart[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]Highlands.Com