Q:

Why are Americans called "Yanks"?

A:

Quick Answer

While no one knows precisely where the term "Yankee" and its abbreviated form "Yank" originated, both are used to describe Americans in general and northerners, especially New Englanders, specifically. Residents of countries throughout the world refer to Americans as Yankees.

Know More
Why are Americans called "Yanks"?
Credit: UIG via Getty Images Universal Images Group Getty Images

Full Answer

The song "Yankee Doodle Dandy" originated in England and was sung by both the British and early Americans, its lyrics changing as it made its way back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, according to National Public Radio. The English used lyrics that made light of Americans, while the Americans changed the lyrics to poke fun at the British.

According to NationalGeographic.com, many Americans embrace the term Yankee in an affectionate way. Fans of the New York Yankees baseball team, for example, are proud of the name. Many southern Americans, however, find the term offensive, due to the South having attempted to secede from the Union during the Civil War.

Culturally, Yankees are considered white, elite and wealthy people, according to NationalGeographic.com. Former presidents George H. W. Bush, John F. Kennedy and Calvin Coolidge, all of whom were from New England states, were considered Yankees. In New England, the term usually refers specifically to residents of the state of Vermont.

Learn more about US History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did Americans move west in the 1800s?

    A:

    Americans moved to the West in the 1800s because people wanted to get a fresh start and wanted to be able to buy their own land, as well as to try new economic possibilities, such as farming and gold mining. It all began when President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 from the French government.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did the French treat Native Americans?

    A:

    The French initially had a peaceful relationship with Native Americans, and they often traded with them and engaged in intermarriage. However, even though the French primarily made peaceful attempts to promote Franco culture among Native American tribes, there were occasions when they forcefully removed them from their land and employed the use of slavery.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What language did the Native Americans speak?

    A:

    The Native Americans did not speak one language, but had different languages for different trips and areas. Once the Europeans arrived, many Native Americans learned to speak English to be able to communicate. By the first part of the 20th century, many natives were put into schools and forbidden to speak their native tongue.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did the Americans win the Battle of Yorktown?

    A:

    The Americans won the Battle of Yorktown because the British were low on reinforcements and got the assistance of the French. The Battle of Yorktown was an important and historic battle because it was the last battle of the American Revolution. The British had won a series of victories against the Americans in past battles.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore