One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
proper nounPlural Delawares
1A river of the north-eastern US. Rising in the Catskill Mountains in New York State, it flows some 450 km (280 miles) southwards to northern Delaware, where it meets the Atlantic at Delaware Bay. For much of its length it forms the eastern border of Pennsylvania.
2A state of the US on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean; population 873,092 (est. 2008); capital, Dover. It was one of the original thirteen states of the Union and in 1787 became the first to ratify the US Constitution.
1A member of a North American people formerly inhabiting the Delaware River valley of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.
- ‘Among the tribes represented were Delawares, Iroquois, Wyandots, Miamis, Ottawas, Pottawattamies, Creeks, Sac and Fox, Choctaw.’
- ‘Pontiac himself claimed to have waged war ‘solely on repeated invitations made me by the Delawares, Iroquois, and Shawnees.’’
- ‘During the mid - eighteenth century, for example, the Mohawks considered their dependents, the Delawares, to be ‘women,’ while classing themselves as ‘men.’’
- ‘An attack on an outlying settlement in January 1791 had prompted more than four years of conflict with the local Delawares and Wyandots.’
- ‘This Indian Territory was where eastern Indian tribes such as the Kickapoos, Delawares, and Shawnees lived.’
2mass noun Either of two Algonquian languages (Munsi and Unami), spoken by the Delaware.
Relating to the Delaware or their languages.
- ‘Wyoming is a word derived from a Delaware word which meant ‘extensive flats’ or ‘great bottom lands’.’
- ‘This Delaware parentage is supported by linguistic, cultural, and geographical evidence, as well as many traditions among the Algonquians.’
- ‘Its name comes from a Delaware Indian word meaning ‘on the great plain’ and its 253,500 sq. kilometres range from Rocky snow peaks to hot springs to truly great plains.’
- ‘During his very active life Zeisberger managed to publish several works in the Delaware tongue.’
Named after the Delaware River (see Delaware).
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