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squaw

[ skwaw ]
/ skwɔ /
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noun
Older Use: Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a North American Indian woman, especially a wife.
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a contemptuous term used to refer to a wife.
  2. a contemptuous term used to refer to any woman or girl.
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Origin of squaw

An Americanism dating back to 1625–35; from Massachusett (English spelling) squa, ussqua “woman, younger woman,” from Proto-Algonquian eθkwe·wa (unattested)

usage note for squaw

It can be very offensive when members of the dominant culture appropriate piecemeal bits of language to imitate or perform impressions of an ethnic or racial minority. Borrowed words like firewater, squaw, and wigwam, or imitative words like how were once used for comedic effect, but they are now considered insensitive to Native Americans and their cultures.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use squaw in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for squaw

squaw
/ (skwɔː) /

noun
offensive a North American Indian woman
slang, usually facetious a woman or wife

Word Origin for squaw

C17: of Algonquian origin; compare Natick squa female creature
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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