Yamaska, a S. county of Quebec, Canada, on the S. bank of the St. Lawrence, where it expands into Lake St. Peter; area, 261 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 16,317, of whom 15,800 were of French origin or descent. It is drained by the Nioolet river, and by the St. Francis and Yamaska, which here empty into the St. Lawrence. Capital, St. Francois.
Yamhill, a N. W. county of Oregon, bounded E. by the Willamette river, bordering W. on the Coast mountains, and intersected by the Yamhill river; area, 750 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 5,012; in 1875, 5,447. The surface is undulating, and the soil, particularly in the east, fertile. It is traversed by the Oregon Central railroad. The chief productions in 1870 were 374,898 bushels of wheat, 219,939 of oats, 11,627 of barley, 31,610 of potatoes, 65,100 lbs. of wool, 103,162 of butter, and 7,261 tons of hay. There were 4,202 horses, 6,100 cattle, 18,851 sheep, and 13,602 swine; 8 flour mills, and 4 saw mills. Capital, Lafayette.
Yancey, a N. W. county of North Carolina, bordering on Tennessee, and bounded N. by the Nollichucky river; area, about 600 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 5,909, of whom 308 were colored. The surface is mountainous, and lies between Iron mountain and the Blue Ridge. Mt. Mitchell, in the S. E. part, is about 6,500 ft. above the level of the sea. The chief productions in 1870 were 20,514 bushels of wheat, 113,683 of Indian corn, 28,207 of oats, 2,727 lbs. of butter, 8,980 of wool, 5,211 of tobacco, and 511 tons of hay. There were 760 horses, 1,963 milch cows, 2,702 other cattle, 5,518 sheep, and 8,244 swine. Capital, Burnsville.
Yankee, a familiar term applied in the United States to the inhabitants of the New England states, and after the outbreak of the civil war of 1861 employed by the inhabitants of the seceded states to designate those who remained loyal to the government. Foreigners have generally applied the term indiscriminately, and habitually in a disparaging sense, to all inhabitants of the United States. Of the many etymologies assigned to the word, the most probable is that of Heckewelder, viz.: that it is a corruption of the word English by the North American Indians, who pronounced it Yenghees or Yanghees.
Yankee Doodle, a tune that since the revolutionary war has been popular in the United States, and has become one of our national airs. It was known as long ago as the reign of Charles I., being then sung to the nursery rhyme "Lucy Lockit lost her pocket." In the time of Cromwell it was sung to the following rhyme, in which the words by which it is known first appear:
"Yankee Doodle came to town Upon a Kentish pony; He stuck a feather in his hat, And called him Maccaroni".
It is supposed to have been written to satirize Cromwell. The tune was played by the British bands in colonial times, and during the American revolution various doggerel verses were sung to it, many of them in ridicule of the Americans. In 1861 the legislature of South Carolina, by enactment, forbade the use of the tune in that state.