Why a Boston girl doesn’t want to be called a Yankee!

After my love affair with the movie American Sniper, I decided to pick up the book. I am the type of person that if I watch a movie and there is a book it was made after, I need to read the book. And vice versa. This was no exception. But as I begin to get to the heart of the book one thing has really started to irritate me.

The amount of times I am reminded that I am a “Yankee.”

Now I realize that the definition of the word itself does not mean it is derogatory. In fact the author of the book is really just referring to northerners when he uses the word. He mostly uses it to explain things he doesn’t think northerners would understand.

The definition of the word is, anyone from the US by someone outside the US or anyone from the north by anyone from the south.

But lets start with the first reason I do not like this word. Should we start with the song Yankee Doodle Dandy?

As a kid I thought this song was a lot of fun. But looking at the lyrics a little more it is pretty clear that the song was not praising the yankees at all.

“A-riding on a pony”:

a pony?!?! So what the Yankee is either a child and can’t ride a real horse or he is just an idiot.

“and with the girls be handy!” :

This of course could mean be a handy man, but somehow I think this is a more sexual reference…

I am pretty sure this song was intended to make fun of the Yankees and given that it was written by the British I am pretty sure I am not wrong.

Now for the obvious reason a Boston girl does not want to be called a Yankee:

Yes the New York Yankees! As a die hard Red Sox fan the sight of that symbol alone makes me bubble up with anger. They are the team we love to hate. And the word Yankee absolutely makes my blood boil thanks to them.

So the next time you want to call a Boston girl a Yankee remember that New Yorkers are Yankees (self-proclaimed) and Bostonians are Bostonians. Lets leave the derogatory meanings from the past in the past?

Now that, that is off my chest I can continue reading!

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16 thoughts on “Why a Boston girl doesn’t want to be called a Yankee!

  1. lol yeah who wants to be reminded of the crummy Yankees. I’m sure the brits did it to make fun of the americans, just like the americans have probably done stuff to make fun of them.

  2. LOL on the Yankee Doodle song! I’ve never examed the words, but yeah, they don’t make much sense! I’m not bothered about being a ‘Yankee,’ probably because I’m not from Boston!

  3. Shae, I don’t think I ever really listened to the words in Yankee Doodle Dandy, so this was extremely interesting.

    And speaking of the word “Yankee”, I lived in the SOUTH for twenty years, so you can only imagine the derogatory remarks I’ve heard about “us” Yankees!

    FAB post topic, my friend! Have a super-duper weekend!

    X

  4. Great post, Shae. I can certainly understand why a Bostonian would not appreciate the term “Yankee” at all. I did a little research of my own after reading your post and yes, the song is meant to mock the American colonists. However, the Americans embraced the song and actually played it when Corwallis surrendered at Yorktown.

  5. I have always considered that song to be derogatory, even though I’m English. I suppose part of the reason is that the term ‘macaroni’ was itself derogatory and was used here in England to describe someone who was a flashily dressed upstart who thought he was better than he actually was. But the term ‘pony’, as I understand it, was used to mean any smallish horse – don’t the native Americans called all their horses ‘ponies’ regardless of what size? Isn’t the ‘Indian Pony’ just a hardy, smallish, native horse with some Spanish blood? If I’m right it’s probably true that some of the horses used by both armies in the Civil War were ‘ponies’. I think some may have been Morgans, too – and their quite small, aren’t they?

    • Interesting I did not know that bit about ponies! I will need to look more into that. And is it silly that when I heard macaroni I just thought mac and cheese? lol!

  6. I’ve never really thought about the song, even as I sung it, but, right.. it’s not in praise.
    So I can agree. On the American Sniper, I am probably about a 180 where you are with it, sorry to say.

    My cousins are from VA. One of them calls me a Damn Yankee Democrat. I just take it as a term of endearment rather than an actual diss. I mean, he’s Repub, I’m Dem, he’s South, I’m North, eh… it’s all good. We are different, obviously, but maybe because we’re family that I just laugh it off.

    • I think when it is from someone you know it is a bit different. But generalizing northerners as Yankees doesnt sound like a compliment to me. But that could also just be me!

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