A Conversation for Eskimo - the Wrong Term


Post 1

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

I have always been aware of a similarity between the term Eskimo and the name Esquimault which, if you think about it, is a more Frenchified spelling of the same sort of sound bite isn't it.

Esquimault is a town in British Columbia and the name the local indians gave themselves. I think there must be a connection to Eskimo.
I've heard the story about eskimo meaning 'eaters of raw flesh' being a Huron/Algonquin/Iroquois word. And it supposedly refers to the eating of seal and whale blubbers for their oil and calories. But these more southern tribes loved to scare the early missionaries and traders with horror stories. For one thing it kept the traders trading with them. The northern tribes were always getting a raw deal (sorry I just had to say it! smiley - laugh) from the Seven Nations to the south.

Nice entry altogether. I hope others will come to realise that the word is not accurate or polite.



Post 2

Peet (the Pedantic Punctuation Policeman, Muse of Lateral Programming Ideas, Eggcups-Spurtle-and-Spoonswinner, BBC Cheese Namer & Zaphodista)

I too popped by to mention that I had heard the word ("Esquimaux"?) was of French origin, meaning "Blubber eaters". I don't speak French; I just listen to word quizzes on BBC Radio 4... smiley - biggrin

Nice entry. smiley - ok

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