- a North American Indian woman or wife
- Slang any woman or wife: often a mild term of contempt
Origin of squaw; from Massachusett squa, younger woman
- Offensive A Native American woman, especially a wife.
- Offensive Slang A woman or wife.
Origin of squawMassachusett squa, younger woman.
Previously used neutrally, the word began to be used as a term of contempt in the late 1800s; it is now often considered offensive.
From the Massachusett word squÃ ws (“woman"), from Proto-Algonquian *eÎ¸kweÂ·wa (“(young) woman"). Cognate with Abenaki -skwa (“female, wife"), Mohegan-Pequot sqÃ¡, Cree iskwew / áƒá¢á‘«á§á¤ (“woman"), Ojibwe ikwe (“woman"). In the 1970s, some non-linguists began to claim that the word originally meant "vagina"; this has been discredited.