also Athabascan, Athapaskan, 1844 as a language name, from the name of the widespread family of North American Indian languages, from Lake Athabaska in northern Alberta, Canada, from Woods Cree (Algonquian) Athapaskaw, literally "(where) there are plants one after another" [Bright], referring to the delta region west of the lake. The languages are spoken across a wide area of Alaska and sub-arctic Canada and include Apachean (including Navajo) in the U.S. southwest.
early 14c., of human skin or complexion, "of a whitish appearance, bloodless, pallid," from Old French paile "pale, light-colored" (12c., Modern French pâle), from Latin pallidus "pale, pallid, wan, colorless," from pallere "be pale, grow pale," from PIE root *pel- (1) "pale." Pallid is a doublet.
From mid-14c. of colors, "lacking chromatic intensity, approaching white;" from late-14c. of non-human objects or substances (liquors, etc.). Figurative use also is from late 14c. Related: Palely; palish; paleness. Paleface, supposed translating a typical North American Indian word for "European," is attested from 1822 in American English.
type of cotton twill cloth, 1943 (chinos, in reference to clothing made of this), from American Spanish chino, literally "toasted;" so called in reference to its usual color. Earlier (via notion of skin color) chino meant "child of one white parent, one Indian" (fem. china), perhaps from or altered by influence of Quechua čina "female animal, servant." Sources seem to disagree on whether the racial sense or the color sense is original.
city in Alabama, U.S., attested c. 1540 in Spanish as Mauvila, referring to an Indian group and perhaps from Choctaw (Muskogean) moeli "to paddle." Related: Mobilian.
pair of drums used in northern Indian music, 1865, from Hindi, from Arabic tabl "a drum played with the hand."
"person of mixed blood in America and Asia," 1748, perhaps from Spanish zambo "bandy-legged," which is probably from Latin scambus "bow-legged," from Greek skambos "bow-legged, crooked, bent." The word was used variously in different regions to indicate some mixture of African, European, and Indian blood; common senses were "child of black and Indian parentage" and "offspring of a black and a mulatto."
also baboo, 1782, Anglo-Indian, "native clerk (originally in Bengal) who writes English," from Hindi babu, title of respect, perhaps originally "father."
In Bengal and elsewhere, among Anglo-Indians, it is often used with a slight savour of disparagement, as characterizing a superficially cultivated, but too often effeminate, Bengali. [Yule and Burnell, "Hobson-Jobson," 1886]
In reference to "the ornate and somewhat unidiomatic English of an Indian who has learnt the language principally from books" [OED] from 1878.
1818, said to be so called from the name of an Indian who used it to cure typhus in New England. The story dates from 1822.
"one who plunders," 1858, agent noun from loot (v.). The proper Anglo-Indian agent-noun was looty, from Hindi luti, from lut.
dance in which the dancer bends backward and passes under a bar, 1956, of West Indian origin, probably an alteration of limber (adj.).