August 28, 2004


Greg Easterbrook has traditionally referred to the pro football franchise associated with our nation's capitol as "the Potomac Drainage Baisin Indigenous Persons", because "[b]oth ends of the official name bother me. As to the Washington part, the club practices in Virginia and performs in Maryland. And which of these, precisely, is Washington? But the real objection is, of course, to Redskins." See this post by Geoff Nunberg for some history and commentary on the linguistic and legal aspects of the name.

Now in his Tuesday Morning Quarterback column at, Easterbrook suggests a more practical alternative: the Washington Wohnata. "Wohnata" is said to be Lakota Sioux for "they are champions", and comes from a list of suggestions supplied by Laura Redish, editor of the Native Languages of the Americas website.

Some may recall that Easterbrook has had his own problems with ethnically sensitive language.

Posted by Mark Liberman at August 28, 2004 01:10 PM