A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 05, 2008
Origin of “Canuck” ("Johnny Canuck") - summary

Entry in progress. More digitized Canadian material due in about a month.—B.P.

Wikipedia: Canuck
“Canuck” is a slang term for Canadians.

History
The term was coined in the 19th century, although its etymology is unclear. Possibilities include:
. kanata “village” (See Name of Canada)
. Canada + -uc (Algonquian noun suffix)
. Connaught, an obscure term for Irish-French-Canadians.
. Some linguists hold that it is derived from the Hawaiian Kanaka.

Meaning
The Random House Dictionary notes that: “The term Canuck is first recorded about 1835 as an Americanism, originally referring specifically to a French Canadian. This was probably the original meaning, though in Canada and other countries, “Canuck” refers to a Canadian.”

Usage and examples
Canadians use “Canuck” as an affectionate or merely descriptive term for their nationality. Other nationalities may use the word as an affectionate, or derogatory, or merely a descriptive term.

Usage of the term includes:
. The Vancouver Canucks hockey team
. Canuck Place Children’s Hospital, providing specialized pediatric palliative care in Vancouver BC
. The Canucks rugby Club, playing in Calgary since 1968.
. The Crazy Canucks, Canadian alpine ski racers who competed successfully on the World Cup circuit in the ‘70s.
. Johnny Canuck, a personification of Canada who appeared in early political cartoons of the 1860s resisting Uncle Sam’s bullying. Johnny Canuck was revived in 1942 by Leo Bachle to defend Canada against the Nazis.
. In 1975 in comics by Richard Comely, Captain Canuck is a super-agent for Canadians’ security, with Redcoat and Kebec being his sidekicks. (Kebec is claimed to be unrelated to Capitaine Kébec of a French-Canadian comic published two years earlier.) Captain Canuck had enhanced strength and endurance thanks to being bathed in alien rays during a camping trip. The captain was reintroduced in the mid-1990s, and again in 2004.
. Operation Canuck was the designated name of a British SAS raid led by a Canadian captain, Buck McDonald in January 1945.
. “The Dark Canuck” is a song on The Tragically Hip’s album In Violet Light.
. In 1995, Canada Post released 45-cent postage stamps depicting Johnny Canuck and Captain Canuck.
. “Canuck” is a nickname for the Curtiss JN4 and Avro CF-100 aircraft. The CF-100 was the only Canadian designed and built jet fighter to enter operational service. From 1950–1958, 692 Canucks were built. They remained in service until 1981
. One of the first uses of “Canuck” — in the form of “Kanuk” — specifically referred to Dutch Canadians as well as the French.
. “Canuck” also has the derived meanings of a Canadian pony (rare) and a French-Canadian patois (very rare).
. Team Canuck is a small-sized team at RoboCup.
. North Plainfield High School Canucks, is the mascot of this High School in New Jersey.
. The Curtiss JN-4(Can) biplane was known as the Canuck.
. “Canuck the Duck”, a character in Return to Zork.
. Soviet Canuckistan
. A french canadian clothing company from Quebec named Kanuk, known for its hand-made heavy duty winter suits.
. Fashion model Elyse Sewell used to refer to one of her former Canadian roommates as “The Canuck” in her livejournal.

Johnny Canuck was a Canadian cartoon hero and superhero who was created as a political cartoon in 1869 and was later re-invented, first in 1942, then in 1975.

Wikipedia: Johnny Canuck
Johnny Canuck was created as a lumber jack national personification of Canada. He first appeared in early political cartoons dating to 1869 where he was portrayed as a younger cousin of the United States’ Uncle Sam and Britain’s John Bull. Depicted as a wholesome, if simple-minded, fellow in the garb of a habitant, farmer, logger, rancher or soldier, he often resisted the bullying of John Bull or Uncle Sam. For thirty years, he was a staple of editorial cartoonists. Then, in the early twentieth century, he faded from view.

The character re-emerged during World War II in the February 1942 issue of Bell’s Dime Comics No.1. Cartoonist Leo Bachle created the character as a teenager, apparently on a challenge from a Bell executive. Initially, Johnny Canuck had no superpowers. Bachle explained:

Johnny Canuck’s cartoon exploits helped Canada fight against Nazism. Like Captain America, he met Adolf Hitler and almost single-handedly ended the war.

The use of such stock figures diminished in popularity after World War II. However, in 1975, a new comic book character, Captain Canuck, emerged. Created by Richard Comely (who was unaware of the earlier Johnny Canuck character) Captain Canuck was a superhero rather than just a hero, he wore red tights, and bore a red maple leaf emblazoned on his forehead.

In 1995, Canada Post issued a series of Canadian postage stamps celebrating Canada’s comic-book superheroes.1 Johnny Canuck is depicted as he appeared in the comic books, dressed in flight jacket, goggles, leather headgear and boots. Johnny Canuck is linked to a tradition of stalwart, honest, upstanding Canadian heroes.

In January 2006, “Johnny Canuck and the Last Burlesque,” a musical comedy, premiered at the Mainline Theatre in Montreal. The play, created by Jeremy Hechtman and Patrick Goddard, concerned the post-World War II life of Johnny Canuck and his adventures as a burlesque star. The play starred Aaron Turner as the sexually naive Johnny Canuck.

Recently, Johnny Canuck has appeared in the NHL. In 2006, when Roberto Luongo was signed by the Vancouver Canucks, Luongo’s vintage mask had a depiction of Johnny Canuck. In 2007, Luongo’s new mask has Johnny Canuck featured rather prominently.

Wikipedia: Captain Canuck
Captain Canuck is a superhero, one of comic books’ most popular Canadian-owned heroes. Created by writer Ron Leishman and artist/co-writer Richard Comely, the original Captain Canuck first appeared in Captain Canuck #1 (July 1975).

Three characters have worn the maple leafed costume of Captain Canuck. Described as a cross between Captain America and Flash Gordon, the first Captain Canuck patrols Canada in the (then) futuristic world of 1993, where “Canada had become the most powerful country in the world.” He was the costumed agent of the CISO (Canadian International Security Agency).

Like most independent comics, Captain Canuck’s adventures have been published sporadically. However, he has built-up a strong cult following among both Canadian and American collectors.

Captain Canuck is sometimes confused with John Byrne’s Guardian, leader of Alpha Flight, who he created for Marvel Comics in the 1980s. Both characters have very similar costumes, and of course, both are Canadian.

Wikipedia: Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference, of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play their home games at the 18,630 capacity General Motors Place.

The Canucks joined the league in 1970 as an expansion team along with the Buffalo Sabres. In its NHL history, the team has advanced twice to the Stanley Cup Finals, but was defeated both times by both New York teams: the Islanders in 1982, and the Rangers in 1994.

(Dictionary of Americanisms)
Canuck n. Also Kanu(c)k. [Origin obscure. In Bartlett ‘77, p. 778, said to be a corruption of Connaught, a nickname given by the French Canadians to the irish.]
1. A Canadian, esp. one of French extraction.
1835 H. C. TODD Notes 92 Jonathan distinguishes a Dutch or French Canadian, by the term Kanuk.
1840 Boston Transcript 7 Feb. 2/1 The French-Canadian—or Conuck, as Her Majesty’s provincial subjects of English and American extraction sometimes call him—can never, by any means be induced to lay ‘aside the adominable practice’ [of smokingand chewing in church].
1884 Harper’s Mag. June LXIX 125 The crews were carefully chosen; a ‘Kentuck,’ or kentuckian, was considered the best man at a pole, and a ‘Kanuck,’ or French Canadian, at the oar or the ‘cordelle,’ the rope used to haul a boat up-stream.
1947 DEVOTO Across Wide Missouri 197 They chattered...and mingled with the halfbreeds of all tribes and their dear friends the Yankees, Canucks, Mexicans, and Kanakas.
(...)
2. A Canadian horse. Also attrib. or as adj.
1860 HOLLAND Miss Gilbert’s Career ii. 29, I’ll hang on the tail of it and try legs with that little kanuck of his.
1862 Cong. Globe 29 April 1867/3 They went...from St. Louis to Canada to buy the little Canuck ponies at $130 apiece.
1888 C. D. FERGUSON Exp. Forty-niner ii. 23, I have often since thought it would be a good way to advertise horses...for certainly no frontier town ever saw a grander sight than those four Canucks.

(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
Canuck n. [perh. var. of kanaka “South Sea Islander” (canadian + arbitrary suffix]
1. a French Canadian.—sometimes used contemptuously.
1835 in Dictionary of Americanisms: Jonathan distinguishes a Dutch or French Canadian, by the term Kanuk.
1840 Ibid.
1881-82 Howells Modern Instance 119: And Fridays I make up a sort of chowder for the Kanucks; they’re Catholics, you know.
1891 Farmer & Henley Slang II 23: Within the Canadian frontier...a Canuck is understood to be a French Canadian.
2. a Canadian; (hence) a Canadian vessel, animal, etc. Also attrib.
1849 in OEDSI 429: Come boys and have some grog. I’m what you call a canuck.
1855 Whitman Leaves of Grass 29: Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.
1871 Schele de Vere Americanisms 589: Canacks, Canucks, and even K’nucks, are slang terms by which the Canadians are known in the United States and among themselves.
1886 Pop. Mil. Hist. Soc. mass. XIII 27: They were...generally “Canucks,” as the Canada horse is called.
1889 Barrere & Leland Dict. Slang I 224: Canuck (American), a Canadian.

(Dictionary of American Regional English)
Canuck n
Also sp Canack, Cannacker, Canucker, cunnuck, Kanu(c)k, Knuck, K’nuck
[Perh from CanFr canaque, from Haw kanaka man, through Northwest fur trade; see American Speech 53.176ff] chiefly Nth, esp NEast often considered derog
A Canadian; also, esp. in the northeast, a French-Canadian.
1835 Todd Notes upon Canada 92 (Dictionary of Americanisms) Jonathan distinguishes a Dutch or French Canadian, by the term Kanuk.
1846 Stewart Altowan 191 (Dictionary of American English) The Cannackers, as they were commonly called, set themselves quietly about reviving their fire.
1891 Farmer-Henley Slang 23: Canack, Canuck, Kanuck, K’nuck...A Canadian, usually a K’nuck.
1905 Dialect Notes 3.7 cCT Cunnuck, Canuck or Knuck...A Canadian.
1907 Dialect Notes 3.183 seNH, Canuck...A French Canadian. 242 eME, Canuck...A French-Canadian.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Canuck
colloq.
[App. f. the first syllable of Canada.]
A. n.
1. A Canadian; spec. a French Canadian.
2. A Canadian horse or pony.
3. The French-Canadian patois.  B. adj. Of or pertaining to Canada or its inhabitants.
In U.S. usage, gen. derogatory.
1835 H. C. TODD Notes upon Canada 92 Jonathan distinguishes a Dutch or French Canadian, by the term Kanuk.
1849 J. E. ALEXANDER L’Acadie I. xvi. 273 ‘Come boys and have some grog, I’m what you call a canuck:’ a (Canadian).
1855 Knickerbocker XLV. 341 [We gave] our donkey into the keeping of a lively Canuck.
1860 HOLLAND Miss Gilbert’s Career ii. 29, I’ll hang on the tail of it and try legs with that little Kanuck of his.
1862 Congress. Globe 29 Apr. 1867/3 To Canada to buy the little Canuck ponies.
1884 Harper’s Mag. June 125/1 A ‘Kanuck’ or French Canadian.
1895 Century Mag. Sept. 674/2 That would be convenient over the line among the Canucks.
[E. Long HIST. JAMAICA II III iii. 424 s.v., masquerader...dances at every doot, bellowing out John Connu!]
[1812 Vaux VOCAB. Knuck, knuckler, or knuckling cove, a pickpocket.]

Chronicling America
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
31 January 1838, Morning Herald (New York, NY), pg. 4, col. 1:
BUFFALO, Thursday evening, Jan. 25, 1838.
MES GORDON BENNETT, ESQ.—
DEAR SIR—Alas! the war is over, and the Canadians must yet suffer under the galling chains of bondage, unless, as the whole of Western New York most fervently desires, the government will declare war upon Great Britain, and allow this state to throw 50,000 militia across the lines to drive the loyal Canucks into Lake Ontario.

27 September 1839. Commercial Advertiser and Journal (Buffalo, NY), pg. 2, col. 1:
For the last twenty-four hours we have experienced a strong “Northwestern,” which has filled our harbor with vessels of every description from the lubberly, uncouth “Cannuck” schooner, fifty tons, to the magnificent steamboat of five hundred.

1 October 1839, New York (NY) Times & Commercial Advertiser, pg. 2, col. 2:
The Buffalo Commercial Advertiser of Friday says:—For the last twenty-four hours we have experienced a strong “Northwestern,” which has filled our harbor with vessels of every description from the lubberly, uncouth “Cannuck” schooner, fifty tons, to the magnificent steamboat of five hundred. Those boats which left for the west yesterday, are reported to have made good the harbors of Erie and Dunkirk--and we have heard of no disaster except that the Cincinnati, a small boat running to the falls, is ashore on the Canadian side opposite Black Rock.

7 February 1840, Detroit (MI) Daily Free Press, pg. 2, col. 5:
The inhabitants of British America, like some of their neighbors on this side of the line, are casting about for some generic name, whereby Canadians, New Brunswickers, Nova Scotians, and all, may be distinguished. The St. Catherine’s Journal proposes that British America be called Victoria, and the inhabitants Victorians. Why not stick to the old name of Canucks? It is not, to be sure, quite as euphonious as Victorians, but it is quite as appropriate.—Buff. Com. Advertiser.

29 April 1840, The National Gazette and Literary Register (Philadelphia, PA), pg. 2, col. 3:
[From the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.]
“Some infamous Cannuck, who doubtless wishes to continue the border excitement, has been guilty of blowing up the monument to the memory of Sir Isaac Brock, erected on Queenston Heights, where the gallant soldier fell, at the battle of Queenston.”—Batavia Adv.

25 May 1840, Vermont Watchman & State Journal (Montpelier, VT), pg. 3, col. 2:
The Queen’s Marriage Celebration, at Toronto, gave the Canucks a fine chance to shake their fists at us.

24 October 1840, MacKenzie’s Gazette (Rochester, NY), pg. 24, col. 3:
Extract of a letter in the New York Era, dated Montreal, Sept. 11, 1840. (...) I endeavored to persuade him that one of the objections made against Mr. Van Buren would apply to Gen. Harrison, as the latter had beaten their army at Fort Meigs. He said that story would’nt (sic) go down among the “Kennucks,” and insisted upon it, offering to bet any wager he could prove that Harrison never did any injury to the British in his life!

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
3 February 1841, The Evening Post (New York, NY), pg. 2, col. 2:
If he should now succeed in getting back, he will be a sort of lion among the Canucks.
(From the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser.—ed.)

12 July 1841, Southern Patriot (Charleston, SC), “Hoosiers,” pg. 2:
The refugees from the troubles of the Northern colony have brought with them a name, which being the result of an effort to pronounce their country and their history in one word has come out Connucks.
(...)—Jour. of Com.

1841, Uncle Sam’s Large Almanac for 1842, pg. 25, cols. 1-2:
The refugees from the troubles of the Northern colony have brought with them a name, which, being the result of an effort to pronounce their country and their history in one word, has come out Connucks…—Journal of Commerce (N.Y.).

13 October 1843, Milwaukie (WI) Commercial Herald, pg. 4, col. 1:
It is no very uncommon occurrence for men to grin through the halter on this side the line, but when it comes to grinning through horse collars the Canucks have the harness to themselves.—Cleveland Herald.

5 December 1843, New Orleans (LA) Picayune, pg. 2, col. 4:
CANADA...The St. Catharine Journal states that there is serious trouble among the Irish laborers along the line of the Welland canal...A few days since a fracas occurred between the Corkonians and Connaught men...)

6 February 1844, Daily Ohio Statesman, pg. 3:
Scandalous.
Every American paper which goes into Canada is charged with four cents postage. They intend to keep the Conucks in ignorance.

9 May 1845, Mineral Point (WI) Democrat, pg. 4, col. 2:
The fellow was indicted—tried—and the case was submitted to twelve of his country men to “sit upon”—who, by the way, were one-third Yankees, 1-4 Frenchmen; and the balance was made up from five different nations, to wit: Irish, Scotch, German, Dutch, and Kennuck (otherwise Canadian.)

29 August 1845, New Orleans (LA) Picayune, pg. 1, col. 6:
A lively correspondent of the Boston Atlas gives the following description of a fashionable soiree at the Sault Ste. Marie:...Such a motley group I do not believe was ever before seen;—there were French, Canucks, Yankees and half-breeds.

8 September 1849, Amherstburg Courier & Western District Advertiser, pg. 3, col. 2:
It seems that Eastwood, who was in every respect an exemplary soldier, and was about to be transferred to the Royal Canadian Rifles, occupied the same room with Smith, and was finding fault with him, at seven o’clock on Thursday morning for making a disturbance during the night. Upon this, Smith became very insolent, and said, he was glad they were going to get rid or Eastwood, as he was going into the b----y Cannucks.

Google Books
5 November 1849, Report of Debates at the Convention of Delegates of the British American League, held at Toronto, C. W., Appendix, pg. xxxii:
The passion of his life was British connexion, and to build up this country so as to be something hereafter, and not to be merged in the States, and its inhabitants to be called ‘Canucks” by the Yankees.

20 June 1851, Weekly Commercial (Wilmington, DE), “Gold Down East,” pg. 1, col. 6:
The Hallowell (Me.) Gazette of the 7th inst. says:
(...)
The country on the Chaudiere river is rather populous, the inhabitants being principally Kannuckers or French Canadians.

April 1855, Knickerbocker Magazine, pg. 341:
(Giving) our donkey into the keeping of a lively Canuck,...we commence the slow ascent (of Mt. Holyoke).

January 1857, Knickerbocker Magazine, pg. 40:
My grandfather got fifty (old French crowns) at once from a Kanuck in trading.

20 August 1857, Boston (MA) Daily Bee, “Letter from Malone,” pg. 2, col. 3:
MALONE, N. Y., August 17th, 1857.
(...)
Fifty years ago there were two logs huts here, where now is a smart little settlement of about six thousand population—the majority of them are natives of New England, and there is a pretty good sprinkling of French Canadians commonly called “Cannucks.” Malone is so near the line, being only twelve miles from the Queen’s dominions, that this odd class of people, who can be found in all their originality and uniqueness scarcely any where else, here abound; a “cannuck” is half Frenchman, one quarter Indian, and the balance Yankee, Dutch, and anything else you please; he is full rigged for business or pleasure when he has a short pipe, one pony, one cart, five dogs and ten children; all but the last are indispensable!

Chronicling America
26 February 1859, Cleveland (OH) Morning Leader, pg. 2, col. 1:
Hon. W. Hamilton Merritt, of St. Catherines, Canada, has publicly suggested that Brother Jonathan and Johny Cannuck unite in a celebration of the event.

December 1861, Canadian Naturalist, pg. 432:
I must add that it is somewhat supported...by the analogy of another term, namely Canuc, which is used vulgarly and rather contempuously for Canadian, and which seems to me to come from Canuchsa, the word employed by the Iroquois to denote a “hut.” Here Canadian would mean a “townsman” or “villager,” but a canuc would be only a “hutter.”

5 July 1862, Harper’s Weekly, pg. 432 (cartoon):
LITTLE JOHNNY KANUCK. “Look here, Papa, you said if I’d abuse UNCLE SAM, you’d take my part when he came over to whip me.”
PAPA JOHN BULL. “Ah! bu that was before the rascal got his Monitors and Parrott Guns. You must take care of yourself, young man.”
LITTLE JOHNNY KANUCK (crying). “Oh! oh! oh!”

4 June 1870, Canadian Illustrated News, pg. 483, col. 3 (poem):
The Campaign of O’Neil the Brave...From their bould determination/ To make Canucks bite the dust/ And when you meet the Canuck knaves/ Cut up a thunderin’ shindy…

11 June 1870, Canadian Illustrated News, pg. 499, col. 3 (poem):
Uncle Sam and His Boys...But they fled like darned cowards/ Before the Canuck bands,/ And here am I, with all the crew/ Again upon my hands!

22 July 1871 Canadian Illustrated News pg. 64 (cartoon):
JOHNNY CANUCK’S IDEA OF IT.
JONATHAN.—“I say, Johnny, your ma says I may fish in your pond, if you like.”
JOHNNY.—“Well! but I don’t like!”

1873 Beadle UNDEVEL. WEST xxxiii. 711, The Yankee shudders as he thinks of the hard fate of the “Canucks” and “Blue-noses” of British America. (Dictionary of American English—ed.)

November 1883, Magazine of American History, pg. 433, col. 2:
KANUCK—Editor Magazine of American History: Can you, or your readers, inform me as to what is the origin of the word Kanuck?
TORONTO. OCTOBER 1, 1883.

June 1884, Harper’s Magazine, pg. 125:
The crews were carefully chosen; a “Kanuck,” or French Canadian, at the oar or the “cordelle,” the rope used to haul a boat up-stream.

7 October 1884, Boston (MA) Globe, pg. 4, col. 2:
A Pickpocket from “Kanuck.” Inspectors Burke and Knox arrested Joseph P. Porrier, a Frenchman, for picking pockets on Washington street. (...) He says he belongs in Quebec, Canada.

1886 TORONTO CANUCKS
[Name of new baseball franchise in International League 1886-87, Association 1888-1890; disbanded, but new franchise with same name in Eastern League 1896-1900, renamed Toronto Royals in 1901.]

13 May 1886 Life, pg. 272, col. 2:
CANOEING IN KANUCKIA. By Charles Ledyard Norton and John Habberton. Illustrated. G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

21 May 1886, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Times, pg. 1, col. 2:
GOING FOR THE KANUCKS.
THE ADMINISTRATION ATTACK THE FISHERIES PROBLEM.

19 February 1887, Grip, pg. 3, col. 2:
Who’ll buy my caller herrin’?/Cod, turbot, ling, delicious herrin’,/Buy my caller herrin’,/They’re every one Kanucks!

5 March 1887, Grip, pg. 1, col. 2:
Well, what do you think of the Canuck elections?

16 March 1887, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 2, col. 1:
And the shrewd Kanuck would then float his catch outside the three-mile limit, and there, in the open sea, would sell it to the Yankee skipper with none to molest or make him afraid.

1888, Dominion Illustrated, pg. 199, col. 1:
Canuckiana.

March 1889, Outing, pg. 505:
Snowshoeing in Canuckia. DA

1889 Barrere & Leland DICT. SLANG I 224, _Canuck_ (American), a Canadian. The origin of this word appears to be unknown. The derivation from _Connaught_, an Irishman, is far-fetched and doubtful. It may be possibly the first syllable of _Can_ada, with an Indian termination, but this is mere conjecture. _Uc_ or _uq’_ is a common Algenkin ending to nouns. It is probably an Indian word modified.

1889 Donkin TROOPER & REDSKIN 148, But for pure and unadulterated brag I will back the lower class Canuck against the world.

OCLC WorldCat record
Patriotic Canadian songs and melodies
by H H Godfrey
Type:  Musical score : Songs; Multiple languages
Publisher: Toronto : Canadian American Music Co., [1890?]
Document Type: Musical Score
Notes: Primarily songs with piano acc. ; some refrains written for chorus (SATB or TTBB). The new invasion and Canada to her counselors not set to music.
Description: 1 score (72 p.) ; 32 cm.
Contents: The new invasion—Canada to her counselors—The men of the North—John Bull’s children—Toronto, or, The pride of the North—The story of the flag—Hark! the drum—The land of the maple—Le pays de l’érable—Johnny Canuck’s the lad—The homeland—When Johnny Canuck comes home—Tic! Tac! Toc!, went my father’s clock—Soldiers of Canada—Prince George—A greeting to the King—Rallying round the flag—On wings of steel—Way up in fair Muskoka—The Union Jack—Canada’s hymn of Empire.

16 August 1890, National Police Gazette, pg. 2, col. 2:
McKee Rankin produced “The Canuck,” a four-act play, at the Bijou Theatre last week, and thereby set the theatrical ball in motion in New York, after a summer of extraordinary silliness. McKee Rankin, the hero of the play, a French Canadian, has a daughter who runs away and gets married to a man who already has a wife...The scene of “The Canuck” transpire in Vermont, New York and Canada...Wilton Lackaye impersonates a metropolitan sport of the day, in a blonde wig and a curling mustache. His slang phrases, “cuckoo,” “bird,” “lala,” “daisy,” caught the boys, and his eyes mashed the girls.

1892 Wentworth ADD 94, (Kans.) Chenuk=a Canadian. Note pron. (sic) Carruth. ADD 1892 Bierce BEETLES 28, I reckon when a man is too tough for the Canuck police he is tough enough for you to tackle. RHHDAS 1895 CENTURY MAG. Sept. 674/2, That would be convenient over the line among the Canucks.

1897 Howels LANDLORD AT LION’S HEAD (1908) vii. 30, “What’s that?” “It’s that Canuck chopping in Whitwell’s clearing.” DAE 1898 LIPPINCOTT’S MAGAZINE Jan. 131, (short story) CANUCK AND RAOUL....He looks about fourteen, and is called “C’nuck,” in reference, I suppose, to his Canadian origin.

1898 (1967) Lefolii CANDIAN LOOK 13 (caption), Uncle Sam to Jack Canuck--"I hate to see any of the folks leaving home. But when they _do_ go I like to see ‘em go to Canada where they’ll feel at home and get square treatment.

OCLC WorldCat record
Johnny Canuck’s the lad
by H H Godfrey
Type:  Musical score; English
Publisher: [Toronto? : s.n., ©1900]

July 1900, North American Notes & Queries, pg. 64, col. 1:
I would very much like to know the origin of the expression Canuck applied to the French Canadians.

OCLC WorldCat record
The impressions of Janey Canuck abroad
by Emily F Murphy
Type:  Book : Microfiche : Master microform; English
Publisher: Toronto : [s.n.], 1902.

1902 CANADIAN MAGAZINE (various cartoons), Jack Canuck and John Bull from the Toronto Daily Star, March 1902 pg. 477; Brother Jonathan mentions Jack Canuck from the Toronto World, April 1902, pg. 570; Jack Canuck from the Toronto Star and Jack Canuck from the Toronto World, pages 476-477, March 1903; et al.

1904 H. F. Day KIN O’ KTAADN 145, “Roule, roulant, maboule roulant,” it’s all Canuck but a good song.

1905 DIALECT NOTES 3.7 (eCT), _Cunnuck_, _Canuck_, or _Knuck_....A Canadian. DARE 1907 Kennedy NEW CANADA 192, “And don’t you want to be Americans any longer?” I asked. “No,” said they most emphatically, “we’re Canucks now.”

1907 N.Y. EVE. POST 22 April 6, Polacks and Canucks have taken the places of most of the old-time American woodsmen in the Adirondacks.

1907 BOSTON HERALD 2 June 2/4-6, (title) THE SNOWSHOE COURT THAT DISCOURAGED JOHNNIE CANUCK. (caption) How the Majesty of the Law Was Brought Home to Johnny Canuck.

1907 DIALECT NOTES 3.183 (seNH), _Canuck_...A French Canadian. _ibid_ 242 (eME), _Canuck_...A French-Canadian. DARE 1908 Beach BARRIER 28, I reckon when a man is too tough for the Canuck police he is tough enough for you to tackle.

1908 OBSERVER (Cowansville, Que.) 1 Oct. 1/6, The Toronto Globe has a cartoon wherein Jack Canuck is walking arm in arm with Laurier and saying, “I like to walk with a man who can set the pace for me.”

1909 Cameron NEW NORTH 260, Failing any or all of these (desired trade goods), it was in vain that the Factor displayed before them the wares of John Bull, Uncle Sam, or Johnny Canuck, or any seductive lure made in Germany.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Irish-Canuck-Yankee; or, Contrast and criticism.
by Christopher J Sparling
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: Chicago : Donohue, ©1910.

OCLC WorldCat record
Janey Canuck in the West
by Emily Gowan Ferguson
Type:  Book; English
Publisher: Toronto : Cassell, 1910.

1910 Haydon RIDERS OF PLAINS 113, “Thar ain’t no Johnny Canuck kin arrest me.”

1914 AMER. LUMBERMAN 25 Apr. 33, But Joe, the Cook, a French Canuck/Said, “Paul, I tink it is ze luck.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Johnnie Canuck’s the boy : song
by Jean Munro Mulloy
Type:  Musical score : Songs; English
Publisher: Toronto : Anglo-Canadian Music Publishers’ Assoc., ©1915.
Edition: 2d ed

OCLC WorldCat record
Private Warwick : musings of a Canuck in khaki
by Harry M Wodson
Type:  Book : Fiction; English
Publisher: Toronto : Sovereign Press, 1915.

OCLC WorldCat record
The key of Jack Canuck’s treasure-house
by Edith Lelean Groves
Type:  Book : Drama : Microfiche : Master microform; English
Publisher: Toronto : W. Briggs, ©1916.

9 November 1917, Vancouver Daily Sun, pg. 3, cols. 5-7 ad:
Only “Canuck” Could Have Done It...Canuck Shot Shells...Dominion Cartridge Co., Limited, Montreal.

January 1923, Aerial Age, pg. 44, col. 2 ad:
The “CANUCK”
a good plane at a right price
Everything for Canucks, JN4s and OX5 Motors
ERICSON AIRCRAFT LIMITED, 120 King E., Toronto, Canada.

1930 Irwin AMER. TRAMP 47, Canuck,—In the United States, any Canadian; properly, in Canada, a French-Canadian.

1934 Wentworth American Dialect Dictionary 94, Slang. In U. S. often=any Canadian; in Canada=only French Canadian.

April 1938, American Speech, pg. 156:
Canuck, a Canadian Curtis plane.

1941 DIME COMICS (first appearance of Johnny Canuck, the eponymous strongman hero created by artist Leo Bachle).

1942 ME Univ. STUDIES 56.12, Canadian French were Canucks; South Sea islanders, especially Hawaiians, were kanakas, a name quite unrelated to Canuck.

1946 VANCOUVER CANUCKS (name of new Western Hockey League franchise that joined the National Hockey League in 1970).

1953 Berrey & Van Den Bark AMERICAN THESAURUS OF SLANG, 3rd ed. pg. 48:
CANADA. Canuckland, Kanuckland, Jack Canuck’s country, Land of the Bing Boys, Land of the Pea-Souper.
pg. 188:
FOREIGN LANGUAGE. Canuck, Kanuck, French-Canadian.
pg. 346:
CANADIAN. Bing Boy. Spec. Canuck, Jack Canuck, Kanuck, esp. a French-Canadian.

1953 Roche HOCKEY BOOK xvii, There were baseball, football & lacrosse game during other seasons, but in winter there was nothing but idleness for red- blooded, sports-loving Johnny Canucks.

1 August 1959, MacLean’s, pg. 1, col. 2:
Millions of Asians, Africans and Europeans who’ll never see a travelling hockey team or a cartoon of Johnny Canuck, have only one image: the men and women of our foreign service.

1963 CITIZEN 30 May 12/5, What is the origin of the nickname Jack Canuck? It probably comes from the name Connaught, the nickname given more than 100 years ago by French Canadians to Canadians of Irish origin.

1964 CANADA MONTH Jan. 38/2, That’s the spirit of USA which Johnny Canuck will never catch up with.

1964 CALGARY HERALD 19 March 18/6, The Scottish skip missed a wide open takeout in the fifth leaving the Canucks another single.

OCLC WorldCat record
Canuck Peak, Idaho--Mont.
by Geological Survey (U.S.)
Type:  Map : National government publication; English
Publisher: Denver, Colo. : U.S. Geological Survey, 1965.

1965 H. Gold MAN WHO WAS NOT WITH IT xxvi. 249, _Bon jour, Grack, tu viens enfin_? That’s Canuck for you ain’t been a son to your ma.

1965 Linakis IN SPRING 34, This didn’t include limeys and canucks.

1965-1970 DARE (Qu. HH28) 165 Infs (chiefly Nth, esp. NEast), Canuck; (MA45) French Canuck; (CT23) French-Canadian Canuck.

1967 Lefolii CANADIAN LOOK 10/3, As far as I know, Johnny made his first appearance as a cartoon character in an 1869 copy of Grinchuckle (pg. 12), a new Montreal journal that billed itself as “a magazine of mirth and opinion.” The cartoonist had already translated Johnny into a Western hat and vaguely British field uniform and used him as a symbol for young Canadians regardless of language.

1968-70 DARE Tape (CA) 103, This lady...is a Canuck. You know who a Canuck is? (FW) No. (INF) A Canadian; (MI121) Quite a few of the new settlers came from Ontario--Canadians--Canucks we called ‘em. DARE 1969 DARE FW (Addit. VT), I can call myself a Canuck, but you’d better not call me one. DARE

1975 R. Comely CAPTAIN CANUCK No. 1 July (comic book).

1975 AMERICAN SPEECH vol. 50, Summer, 158-160, “THE ETYMOLOGY OF _CANUCK_” (Jacob Adler of the University of Hawaii at Manoa argues for _kanaka-Canuck_, but without historical citations; a letter by Mitford M. Matthews of the DICTIONARY OF AMERICANISMS that supports _kanaka_ is reprinted).

OCLC WorldCat record
Captain Canuck.
Type:  Journal, magazine; English
Publisher: Calgary, Alta. : Comely Comix
Document Type: Journal / Magazine / Newspaper
Notes: Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 10 (July-Aug. 1980); title from indicia.

12 June 1994, New York (NY) Times, Week in Review section , pg. E5, cols. 4-5:
“Just as well call Americans Yanks, we call Canadians Canucks,” said Lisa Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Canucks. “It’s much like the New York Yankees.”
(...)
Ms. Ryan said a lot of people have lately been asking about the Canuck name and how it was chosen, but nothing has been found in the archives to explain it. The team began in 1970 as the third National Hockey League team in Canada, following Toronto and Montreal. Maybe it was simply that the Montreal club already owned the appellation Canadiens.
(...)
The term Canuck was apprently first used in a 1849 (sic) travel book...The word again surfaced in a story in The New York Times of 1865 tracing the path of John Wilkes Booth. In a game of billiards a year before he assassinated Lincoln, Booth is quoted as admiring the “Canadian style,” whatever that was. He said, “I must post myself in Canuck airs, for some of us devils may have to settle there shortly.”
(...)
In a 1972 letter, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau said some think the term “Canuck” applies to all Canadians, some to Eastern Canadians, some to French Canadians. Is it nasty? “Whether or not you commited an ethnic slur,” he said, “depends entirely on the way the word is used.”

24 September 1994, Toronto Star, “Words by Lew Gloin”:
Canuck? Who uses the bloody words, anyway? Well, several Star writers and the editor-in-chief of Canadian dictionaries for Oxford University Press, that’s who, for starters.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Many Lives of Captain Canuck: Nationalism, Culture, and the Creation of a Canadian Comic Book Superhero
by Ryan Edwardson
Type:  Article; English
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Publication: Journal of Popular Culture, 37, no. 2 (2003): 184-201

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOrigin of "Canuck" ("Johnny Canuck") • Friday, December 05, 2008 • Permalink


And just for the record, we don’t mind being called Canucks at all smile

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