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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 52

turned into Hobson-Jobson. The same process is constantly in operation elsewhere. By it the French route de roi has become Rotten Row in English, écrevisse has become crayfish, and the English bowsprit has become beau pré (= beautiful meadow) in French. No doubt squash originated in the same way. That woodchuck did so is practically certain. Its origin is to be sought, not in wood and chuck, but in the Cree word otchock, used by the Indians to designate the animal.
  In addition to the names of natural objects, the early colonists, of course, took over a great many Indian place-names, and a number of words to designate Indian relations and artificial objects in Indian use. To the last division belong hominy, pone, toboggan, canoe, pemmican, mackinaw, tapioca, moccasin, paw-paw, papoose, sachem, sagamore, tomahawk, wigwam, succotash and squaw, all of which were in common circulation by the beginning of the eighteenth century. Finally, new words were made during the period by translating Indian terms, for example, war-path, war-paint, pale-face, big-chief, medicine-man, pipe-of-peace and fire-water. The total number of such borrowings, direct and indirect, was a good deal larger than now appears, for with the disappearance of the red man the use of loan-words from his dialects has decreased. In our own time such words as papoose, sachem, tepee, wigwam and wampum have begun to drop out of everyday use; 11 at an earlier period the language sloughed off ocelot, manitee, calumet, supawn, samp and quahaug, or began to degrade them to the estate of provincialisms. 12 A curious phenomenon is presented by the case of maize, which came into the