Page:The American Language.djvu/59

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From the very earliest days of English colonization the language of the colonists also received accretions from the languages of the other colonizing nations. The French word portage, for example, was already in common use before the end of the seventeenth century, and soon after came chowder, cache, caribou, voyageur, and various words that, like the last–named, have since become localisms or disappeared altogether. Before 1750 bureau,[1] gopher, batteau, bogus, and prairie were added, and caboose, a word of Dutch origin, seems to have come in through the French. Carry–all is also French in origin, despite its English quality. It comes, by the law of Hobson–Jobson, from the French carriole. The contributions of the Dutch during the half century of their conflicts with the English included cruller, cold–slaw, dominie (for parson), cookey, stoop, span (of horses), pit (as in peach–pit), waffle, hook (a point of land), scow, boss, ’'smearcase and Santa Claus.[2] Schele de Vere credits them with hay–barrack, a corruption of hooiberg. That they established the use of bush as a designation for back–country is very probable; the word has also got into South African English. In American it has produced a number of familiar derivatives, e. g., bush–whacker and bush–league. Barrère and Leland also credit the Dutch with dander, which is commonly assumed to be an American corruption of dandruff. They say that it is from the Dutch word donder (=thunder). Op donderen, in Dutch, means to burst into a sudden rage. The chief Spanish contributions to American were to come after the War of 1812, with the opening of the West, but creole, calaboose, palmetto, peewee, key (a small island), quadroon, octoroon, barbecue, pickaninny and stampede had already entered the language in colonial days. Jerked beef came from the Spanish charqui by the law of Hobson–Jobson. The Germans who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 also undoubtedly gave a few words to the language, though

  1. (a) A chest of drawers, (b) a government office. In both senses the word is rare in English, though its use by the French is familiar. In the United States its use in (b) has been extended, e. g., in employment–bureau.
  2. From Sint–KlaasSaint Nicholas. Santa Claus has also become familiar to the English, but the Oxford Dictionary still calls the name an Americanism.