One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a North American Indian people formerly inhabiting southern Louisiana, associated with the Atakapa and later the Chitimacha, but speaking a language of their own.
Of, relating to, or designating the Opelousas or their language.
Early 19th century. From French Opélousas, plural (first mentioned 1726 in an English edition of a French source) from Mobilian Jargon, explained as if from Choctaw abaʔ lósaʔ, lit. ‘black hair or head’ (from abaʔ above + lósaʔ black), but the combination is unidiomatic and the first element is obscure.
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