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squaw

Syllabification: squaw
Pronunciation: /skwô
 
/

Definition of squaw in English:

noun

offensive
1An American Indian woman or wife.
1.1North American offensive A woman or wife.

Origin

mid 17th century: from Narragansett squaws 'woman', with related forms in many Algonquian dialects.

Usage

Until relatively recently, the word squaw, derived from an Algonquian language, was used neutrally in anthropological and other contexts to mean ‘an American Indian woman or wife.’ With changes in the political climate in the second half of the 20th century, however, the derogatory attitudes of the past toward American Indian women have meant that the word cannot now be used in any sense without being offensive.

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