First attested in English around 1700 (and attested in early French as Outchibouec), from the Ojibwe name of an individual band of Ojibwe, of unclear origin. The most widely accepted theory connects it to Ojibwe ojibwaakide (“it shrivels, it puckers in the fire”), in reference to the puckering or tightening of moccasins at their seams or near fire. Alternatively, Helen Tanner and Edmund Danzinger connect it to the Ojibwe practice of writing on birch bark or making pictographs, respectively; compare ozhibii' (“write (someone's name) down”).
Other, less likely suggestions include: Henry Schoolcraft derived it from a word *bwe "pertaining to voice" ((compare bedowe (“have a soft voice”)), and like George Belcourt, believed it referred to a peculiarity of the tribe's (language's) pronunciation. Some other works connect it to the word for puckering the lips, which however is bajiishkidooneni (“she or he puckers the lips”), or assert that it refers to roasting captives until their flesh puckered, but this was not a common practice and is improbable as a self-designation.
- The language spoken by the native Algonquin people of central Canada, one of a closely related group of languages and dialects of the Algonquian branch of the Algic language family.
Ojibwe (plural Ojibwes or Ojibwe)
- A member of a native Algonquin people of central Canada.
- ^ “Ojibwa”, in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–present.
- ^ “Ojibwe”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.
- Anton Treuer, "What's in a name: The meaning of Ojibwe", in Oshkaabewis Native Journal (Fall 1995, [re]printed 2011), volume 2, number 1, page 39
- Anna J. Willow, Strong Hearts, Native Lands (2012), page 17