YANKEE. The Yankee was a famous privateer brig from Bristol, Rhode Island, with eighteen guns and 120 officers and men. During the War of 1812, it cruised off Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the South Atlantic and took eighteen prizes worth nearly $1 million. In two later voyages, under Elisha Snow, the Yankee cruised off Ireland and in the Atlantic with success, one prize (the San Jose Indiano) netting $500,000. In six voyages it captured British ships worth $5 million, $1 million of which actually reached Bristol.
Jones, Noah. Journals of Two Cruises Aboard the American Privateer "Yankee." New York: Macmillan, 1967.
Maclay, Edgar S. A History of American Privateers. New York: D. Appleton, 1899. Reprint, New York: B. Franklin, 1968.
Walter B.Norris/a. r.
YANKEE, derived from the disparaging Dutch name Jan Kees (John Cheese) for New England Puritans in the 1660s, became a colloquial name for all New Englanders. Popularized by the British army march, "Yankee Doodle" (1750), it was adopted proudly by the Connecticut militia, and appeared in Royal Tyler's play The Contrast (1787), Seba Smith's Major Jack Dowling satires (1829), and James Russell Lowell's Biglow Papers (1848).
Southerners referred to Union soldiers as Yankees during the Civil War, but in World War I all American soldiers were dubbed Yankees. As an ethnic group, the Yankee descends from the Congregational British settlers of colonial New England, noted for their ingenuity and flinty character.
Haywood, Charles Fry. Yankee Dictionary: A Compendium of Useful and Entertaining Expressions Indigenous to New England. Lynn, Mass.: Jackson and Phillips, 1963.
Yan·kee / ˈyangkē/ • n. inf. 1. often derog. a person who lives in, or is from, the U.S. 2. an inhabitant of New England or one of the northern states. ∎ hist. a Union soldier in the Civil War. 3. a code word representing the letter Y, used in radio communication. ORIGIN: mid 18th cent.: origin uncertain; recorded in the late 17th cent. as a nickname; perhaps from Dutch Janke, diminutive of Jan ‘John.’
Yankee Doodle Dandy a song popular during the War of American Independence, now regarded as a national song; the tune is said to have been composed in 1755 by Dr Richard Shuckburgh, a British surgeon in Lord Amherst's army, in derision of provincial troops.
Yankee State an informal name for Ohio.