Indian file

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Attested since the 1700s, because Native Americans traversed woods in this way.

Noun[edit]

Indian file

  1. (especially US, uncommon) Single file.
    • 1791, Voyages And Travels Of An Indian Interpreter And Trader, page 69:
      In about an hour they returned very much intoxicated, singing their dead war songs, and every warrior naked, painted black from head to foot: as they approached the house in Indian file, each one repeated the following words []

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usually used as walk (march, approach, etc) Indian file (adverbially) or walk in Indian file. Until the 1800s, the form walk in an Indian file was sometimes encountered.