1580s, from Danish Eskimo or French Esquimaux (plural), both probably from an Algonquian word, such as Abenaki askimo (plural askimoak), Ojibwa ashkimeq, traditionally said to mean literally "eaters of raw meat," from Proto-Algonquian *ask- "raw" + *-imo "eat." Research from 1980s in linguistics of the region suggests this derivation, though widely credited there, might be inaccurate or incomplete, and the word might mean "snowshoe-netter," but there are phonological difficulties with this. See also Innuit. Of language, from 1819. As an adjective by 1744. Eskimo pie "chocolate-coated ice cream bar" was introduced in 1922 and was at first a craze that drove up the price of cocoa beans on the New York market 50 percent in three months [F.L. Allen, "Only Yesterday," 1931].
updated on December 09, 2020