Saturday, July 4, 2009


To most of the world, a Yankee is a citizen of the United States. But within the US, there are Yankees, and then there are Yankees.

A Yankee can be a Northerner, a citizen of one of the states that made up the Union, or the North, in the American Civil War.

If you're already in one of the Union states, Yankee-ness increases as you head north and east until you reach New England, the six states in the northeast corner of the United States. Derivations vary, but according to, "Yankee", first used in 1750-1760, is a corruption of Jan Kees, (John Cheese), the name by which the urbane Dutch inhabitants of Nieuw Amsterdam (New York) referred to their rustic Connecticut neighbors.

But even in New England, the degree of Yankee-ness increases to the north and east. Boston Brahmins and the residents of northern New Hampshire and Maine are Yankee-er than their fellow New Englanders

And at the very pinnacle of Yankee-ness, those Yankee-est of the Yankees, are those who trace their ancestry to the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on the Mayflower in 1620.

These nuances can be fun or annoying, depending on your point of view. In the end, none of them matter. On this Yankee-est of days, July 4, Independence Day, all Yankees, of whatever type or degree, wish our country a Happy Birthday.

Happy Fourth of July to Yankees everywhere.

Thank you all,



Kaye Manro said...

Interesting post. I hope you had a great 4th!

Linda Banche said...

Hi Kaye, nice to see you. Yes, our Fourth was good. The rain of the past month finally stopped and the day was sunny.