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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/90

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

There is a South American river name written in our English idiom Amaccura. In Florida we have the old aboriginal title Amaxura. No man is now learned enough to maintain, with any assurance of truth or authority in his favor, that from either standpoint, historical or etymological, there is any real or essential difference in the two names.

The same thing may be said of two other well-known ancient "Indian" appellations—Orinoco and Oronoko, as they are now written in our English versions. The former is a native South American word, while the latter—Oronoko—is unquestionably an aboriginal North American river name. A corruption of the ancient name has been applied, as the permanent modern title of the stream, in the word written Roanoke, the old initial vowel sound in o finally dropped. Our wisest philologists are unable to determine any difference in the true etymology of the two writings, Orinoco and Oronoko.

Nor can they perceive the real difference—for none exists—in the Carolina river name Occonee and the South American appellation written Ocona. We have in North America the name Pawnee; in South America they have what is doubtless the very same thing in the writing Pana (Pawna). We have in New England the native name Chicopee; South America has Chicapa. (Our authorities tell us that "oopee," "upa," "opee," "ippe," "epe," "apa," etc., are simply dialectic expressions showing one common ancestry—each being a term for water or river in the native tongues of the continent.) We have Omaha; South America has Omagha. We have Aboite; South America has Abaite. We have in South Carolina the river name Saluda; South America has the Saladorio, the Sal-aw-dow River. We have Tygar River; South America has Tigri. (The Old World has the name written in English Tigris—really Te-ga-ri, or the De-ka-li of the Hebrew; all three of the names—Tygar, Tigri, and Tigris—showing a common though very remote ancestry.)

Chico and Chota are found in native names in both North and South America. We have Choco and Choccolocco; while South America has Choco-loochee. "Loochees" and "oochees," or "uchas," without number, are found all over the continent. North as well as South, in the native names of waters. In South America are several Ubas, ancient appellations of waters. California has two rivers, the prehistoric Indian names, written Yuba. There are scores of "oobas" and "ubas" in the ancient names of waters of the continent both North and South. And what is a more startling feature of the prehistoric speech of the New World is the fact that this same word, or the sounds heard in the writing "uba" or "yuba," is found in the prehistoric water nomenclature of various peoples of the Old World.