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In the 15th century a harvest song contained mostly English and Dutch nonsense words ("Yanker, didel, doodle down, / Diddle, dudel, lanther, / Yanke viver, voover vown, / Botermilk und tanther"). "Dödel," German for fool, entered the English language as "doodle" in the early 17th century. Due to the extensive interaction between Dutch and northern English colonists in the century or so before the American Revolution, "Yankee" was probably the English pronunciation of the Dutch masculine diminutive name "Janke" and became a common designation for the Dutch settlers and then for all of the white settlers of the New York-New Jersey-Delaware-western Connecticut area. When British brigadier general James Wolfe was preparing his siege of Louisbourg (on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia) in 1758 he said he "could afford" another officer "two companies of Yankees, and the more because they are better for ranging and scouting than either work or vigilance." At the same time, in England, a fop, or a dandy, became known as a "maccaroni," a pejorative word for one who, in the parlance of the time, "exceeded the ordinary bounds of fashion" by dressing and speaking in an affected, effeminate manner; his powdered maccaroni wig was so excessively tall that if he wore a chapeau-bras (arm-hat), designed to be folded flat and tucked under his arm when not being torn, it could only be removed on the point of a sword. In 1765, during the French and Indian War in North America, British surgeon Richard Shuckburgh mocked the uncouth colonial troops who served in the army by adding satirical lyrics to the old Dutch harvest song. The Americans responded defiantly by proudly adopting the song as their own. In 1978 it even became Connecticut's state anthem. Yankee Doodle went to town,Riding on a pony,Stuck a feather in his hat,And called it macaroni. Yankee Doodle keep it up,Yankee Doodle dandy,Mind the music and the step,And with the folks be handy. After the battles of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, that began the American Revolution, when the British troops withdrew to Boston, a local newspaper reported that one officer "asked his brother officer how he liked the tune now, — 'Dang them', returned he, 'they made us dance it till we were tired' — since which Yankee Doodle sounds less sweet to their ears."
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