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Pocohontas or pocahontas?

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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?

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.

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.

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.

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

I've read her real name was Matoaka.


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