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"Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>: NANFA-- offensive fish name

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From: "Jay DeLong" <jdelong at nwifc_wa.gov>
To: nanfa at aquaria_net
Subject: NANFA-- offensive fish name
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 13:47:34 +0000
Message-ID: <199711112150.NAA18452 at chinook_nwifc.wa.gov>

> Would someone look up whether "squawfish" is the currently accepted
Bureau of
> Fisheries common name for this fish (also what's its scientific name,
for us
> easterners)?

Yes, it's currently accepted.  The Northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus 
oregonensis) and the Colorado squawfish (P. lucius) are different 

> The word "squaw" denoting a female Native American is extremely
offensive to
> many native Americans. 
> The word is supposed to be a shortened form of something like
> "sunkasquaw", a word in a New England or Middle Atlantic Algonkian
> language, and the original word may have been an honorific at one
> time. (I can probably get more information on this point from a 
> couple of online Algonkianists I know.)

The term squaw is indeed offensive to Indians.  I've also heard it 
may have been taken from a derogatory French term.

> But this fish probably needs a new common name, if it hasn't already
got one.

There is indeed a movement to have the common name changed to 
bigmouth minnow or something like that.  I'll get back to you shortly 
with some details.


Jay DeLong

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