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

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Amsterdam University Press, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 320 pages
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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. In Cookies, Coleslaw and Stoops, the renowned linguist Nicoline van der Sijs glosses over 300 Dutch loan words like these that travelled to the New World on board the Henry Hudson's ship the Halve Maan, which dropped anchor in Manhattan more than 400 years ago.

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-do-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, this charming volume is the perfect gift for the linguistic adventurer in us all.

 

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About the author (2009)

Nicoline van der Sijs is a linguist and a coeditor of the multi-volume Dutch Etymological Dictionary.

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