yankee, a story about a word….. la storia di una parola famosa

The Americans are now also known as YANKEES. But these nickname(= soprannome) has a story, better, many stories. It is a word which dates back (= risale) about 300 years old. First it was used as a nickname to call New England settlers, but the origins of the world are uncertain.
Most experts say it is a Hollandaise word. The Hollanders made cheese and for this reason they were called Jan Kees (John Cheese) by the Germans. Some of the Hollanders went to America in the early 1600s and settled in New England. They were farmers and laughed at (=deridevano) the colonists who tried to build farms on the mountain rocks and started calling them with their nickname.
During the American civil war the word Yankee assumed another meaning: the soldiers of the southern states named Yankee the soldiers of the northern army.