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Pocohontas or pocahontas?

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Moggie1974
830278.  Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:45 pm Reply with quote

In 'The Second Book of General Ignorance' I was momentarily confused by the article on Pocohontas (Who Was the First American to be Buried in Britain). I thought perhaps it was clarifying a confusion between two different historical figures - Pocohontas and Pocahontas. But it seems you've just spelled her name two different ways. Which is correct?

 
CB27
830282.  Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:56 pm Reply with quote

I think Pocahontas is the more accepted spelling, but it seems both have been in used in the past.

Having said that, it was never her real name, but was actually a nickname which was then used so as not to reveal her true identity to the English.

Later on she changed her name to Rebecca.

 
rewboss
830284.  Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:04 pm Reply with quote

A printing error?

Pocahontas seems to be the usual form, but since this is a transliteration of an Algonquian nickname, the spelling really only represents the closest a 16th century English-speaker could get to representing it. As such, neither is necessarily more correct, and because the sounds of English have changed so much in the meantime -- the "Great Vowel Shift" was only just beginning to get properly underway -- neither is likely to very accurate.

 
Zebra57
830376.  Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:04 pm Reply with quote

Welcome Moggie

Pocahontas seems to be the spelling most commonly used. She converted to Christianity changing her name to Rebecca and married John Rolfe. She was received by Queen Anne wife of James 1st and died before returning to America.

She is buried in Gravesend Kent.

 
tortoiseville
880218.  Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:59 am Reply with quote

I've read her real name was Matoaka.

 

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