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Cookies, Coleslaw, and Stoops

Cookies, Coleslaw, and Stoops: The Influence of Dutch on the North American Languages

Nicoline van der Sijs
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Cookies, Coleslaw, and Stoops
    Book Description:

    In 1609, the first Dutch settlers arrived in America and established trading posts, small towns, and forts up and down what we now call the Hudson River. To this day, American children are taught the thrilling history of the transformation of this settlement, New Netherland, and its capital, New Amsterdam, from landmark port into present-day New York State and the island of Manhattan. But, the Dutch legacy extended far beyond New York, as Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops reveals. From Santa Claus (after the Dutch folklore saint Sinterklaas) and his sleigh (the pronunciation of the Dutch slee is almost identical) to a dumbhead talking poppycock, the contributions of the Dutch language to American English are indelibly embedded to some of our most vernacular terms and expressions. The menu in most of our restaurants sports some originally Dutch names, and even our dollar is named after a Dutch coin (daalder). In this captivating volume, the renowned linguist Nicoline van der Sijs glosses over 300 Dutch loan words like these that travelled to the New World on board the Dutch ship the Halve Maan, captained by Henry Hudson, which dropped anchor in Manhattan more than 400 years ago. Surprisingly, the Dutch also gave several Native American languages words for everyday things like "pants", "cat" and "turkey". Lively and accessible, the information presented in this volume charts the journey of these words into the American territory and languages, from more obscure uses which maybe have survived in only regional dialects to such ubiquitous contributions to our language like Yankee, cookie, and dope. Each entry marks the original arrival of its term into American English and adds up-to-date information on its evolving meaning, etymology, and regional spread. Not to be missed by anyone with a passion for the history behind our everyday expressions, Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops is the perfect gift for the linguistic adventurer in us all. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1042-9
    Subjects: History, Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-8)
  3. [Illustration]
    (pp. 9-10)
  4. Preface
    (pp. 11-16)
  5. CHAPTER 1. The Dutch language in North America
    (pp. 17-112)

    Every good story has at least one villain. Fortunately for our story, but unfortunately for linguistic scholarship, the history of the Dutch language on the American East Coast also has its villain. What is more: that history ends with him. His name is Lawrence Gwyn van Loon.

    Van Loon was born in New York City in 1903, and he died in the village of Gloversville, New York, in 1985. When he was a boy, his maternal grandfather, Walter Hill, taught him thetawl, the Dutch that at that time was still spoken in the Mohawk Valley. During his holidays, together...

  6. CHAPTER 2. Dutch words that have left their mark on American English: a thematic glossary
    (pp. 113-282)

    The glossary in this chapter highlights Dutch loanwords in American English that still exist – although some of them have become historical terms – as well as words cited in multiple sources. Most of the words have been extracted from the many dictionaries that describe the distinct vocabulary of American English (see the bibliography at the end of this book). A minority of the words have disappeared from American English. Dutch loanwords in American English that are cited only once or a limited number of times have not been included. The following list from Mencken’sThe American Language(1937) may...

  7. CHAPTER 3. Dutch influence on North American Indian languages
    (pp. 283-298)

    The Dutch loanwords in Amerindian languages have been collected from the works of Peter Bakker, Ives Goddard, Jay Miller, and J. Dyneley Prince (see bibliography at the back of this book). There must have been other Dutch loanwords in Amerindian languages: much information is sure to have been lost since the seventeenth century. In his book from 1999, Cecil Brown says that Dutch loanwords have been found in Onondonga and Oneida, but he does not give concrete examples. (On inquiry, it appeared that the data from the original study were no longer available.)

    In chapter 1.1 we already mentioned that...

  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 299-310)
  9. List of illustrations
    (pp. 311-316)
  10. Index to the American English words in chapter 2
    (pp. 317-320)