America - Naming the Country and Its People

Author: Read, Allen
This book does an important service to scholarship by rescuing the hitherto scattered and unpublished talks that Allen Walker Read, considered the dean of onomastics, gave to The American Name Society and other learned societies. Each of these papers bears the mark of an inquiring, industrious, and insightful scholar whom Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar) eventually honored with a doctorate of letters.

“Professor Read is the dean of American place name scholars, and this book is a collection of (mainly short) fugitive pieces by him, never before published. It is carefully annotated. It is clearly authoritative work which deserves to be in print and which many others working in the field will want to possess. Besides that, it is engagingly written.” – Charles A. Huttar

“Allen Walker Read is the most scholarly person to have addressed historical questions of onomastics in America, and these papers are a significant contribution that will be valued by others in the field. What makes his work so important is his unequalled ability to use historical materials to illuminate naming practices. For seventy years, he has patiently explored archival materials: old newspapers, diaries, letters, and all sorts of conventionally published work. . . . Allen Read’s work shows where truth is to be found: in the historical record. And the stories to be found there are as fascinating as any of those thrown up by folklore.” – Richard W. Bailey

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Foreword by Frederic Cassidy; Editor’s Preface
· The Claims for a Native Source of the Name America
· What Area Does the Name America Refer To?
· Ups and Downs in the Application of America
· “The States”: the Range of its Popularity as a National Designation
· Derivative Forms from the Name United States
· How the Early Usage of Continental and the Continent Forms a Background for Present-day American and America
· Rival Etymologies of Yankee
· The Boundaries of Yankee-land
· How the British Use Yankee
· The Naming of the Confederacy
· On Being New Yorkish: Some Semantic Developments in the Derivatives of New York
· Gothamites, East Villagers, Morningsiders, and Big Applians
· What Long Islanders Call Themselves
· Terminology of Derivatives from Place Names with a Synopsis of New York State Derivatives
· Critical Evaluations by Travelers of the Place Names of New York State
· Multicultural Sources of Connecticut Place Names
· Patterns of Transcription Behind the Variant Spellings of Indian Place Names in Early Connecticut
· Problematical Pronunciations among Connecticut Place Names
· Official Decisions Involving New Jersey Place names
· Who Were the Aberginians?
· Mainiacs, Michiganders, Nebraskals, Arkansawyers
· An Update on Arkansawyer, Michigander, Iowegian and Similar Terms
· Variations in the Pronunciation of the Name Niagara
· Place-Naming as a Dynamic Process
· The Recognition of Patterning in American Place-Naming
· Some Onomastic Works by Allen Walker Read