yank

Definitions

General English

Military

  • noun
    (written as Yank)
    an American soldier

Slang

  • noun
    (written as Yank)
    an American, a native or inhabitant of the USA. Yankee is the older form of the word and seems to be connected with the early Dutch settlers in Connecticut and the rest of New England. It may be a familiar form (Jan-Kees) of the common forenames Jan and Cornelius, a diminutive Janke (‘Johnny’), or an invented epithet Jan Kaas (‘John Cheese’), all applied to Dutchmen in general. Other suggestions are that it is from a nickname given to English-speaking pirates and traders by the Dutch, or a deformation of the word ‘English’ by Amerindian speakers. It may possibly be connected with yonker, which is Dutch for young (noble-)man. In the USA Yankee is used as an epithet by which old-school southerners damn northerners and also as a straightforward designation of an inhabitant of the northeastern states.
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