Tracks that Speak: The Legacy of Native American Words in North American Culture

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002 - 255 pages

What do the words saguaro, parka, hickory, and muskrat have in common? They all come from Native American languages. Few people consider how deeply American English is indebted to Native Americans and how widely the contributions of Native Americans are used in English today. In Tracks That Speak, Charles L. Cutler offers seventy fascinating studies, each focusing on a particular word borrowed from a Native American language. He tells us about the words themselves and about the things they stood--and stand--for, illuminating not only the roles these things played in traditional Indian societies but also the ones they continue to play in America today. For example, Cutler explains where the word moccasin comes from, how moccasins were made and decorated, what advantages they had for their wearers, how and when they were adopted by European settlers, and what incarnations of them can be found in modern clothing catalogs. Such a wealth of historical, ethnographic, and linguistic material on Native American loanwords in English has never before been gathered and presented so clearly, making Tracks That Speak as engaging as it is informative.

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Contents

SHELTER
1
Igloo
5
Wigwam
7
Quonset Hut
10
CLOTHING
13
Moccasin
14
Mukluk
17
Shoepac Pac Boot
19
Raccoon
106
Opossum
111
Skunk
114
Carcajou Quickmatch
117
Woodchuck
120
Chipmunk
122
DOMESTICATED ANIMALS
125
Eskimo
126

Parka Anorak
21
Mackinaw
23
FOOD FROM PLANTS
27
Hominy
28
Corn Pone
31
Succotash
33
Squash
35
Saguaro
38
ADDITIONAL PLANTS
41
Pipsissewa
44
Tuckahoe
46
FOOD FROM TREES
48
Hickory
49
Pecan
51
Chinquapin
54
Persimmon
56
OTHER TREES
59
Sequoia
60
Catalpa
64
Tupelo
66
Tamarack Hackmatack
68
FISH AND SEAFOOD
70
Abalone
71
Quahog
74
Ceoduck Yaquina Umpqua
76
Chinook Salmon
78
Sockeye
80
Muskellunge Muskie Maskinonge
83
Terrapin
84
CAME ANIMALS
89
Moose
90
Caribou
93
Wapiti
96
Pemmican
99
FURBEARERS
103
Muskrat
104
Husky
127
Malamute
129
Appaloosa
131
Cayuse
133
ARTIFACTS
138
Tomahawk
139
Wampum
141
Kayak
145
Toboggan
148
NORTHWEST COAST
151
Chinook Wind
154
Potlatch
156
HighMuckaMuck MuckaMuck
160
Hooch
161
MISCELLANEOUS
165
Sachem Sagamore
166
Squam
168
Papoose
171
Kinnikinnick
174
Tammany
177
Mugwump
180
Bayou
183
Muskeg
186
SPIRIT
189
Sasquatch
190
Totem
194
Kachina
196
Inukshuk
198
Powwow
201
Manitou
204
Conclusion
206
Notes
211
Bibliography
227
Index
247
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

The editor and historian CHARLES L. CUTLER (1930-1999) was a lifelong student of American history and Native American contributions to the English language. During his distinguished career he wrote several other books on American language and history, including Connecticut's Revolutionary Press and O Brave New Words! Native American Loanwords in Current English.

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