Almost as fun as the OED
Someone on one of my listserves just suggested that the term "gook" applied to people of Asian descent was shortened from Chingachgook, Natty Bumpo's legendary sidekick in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans and others in his "Leatherstocking" series. Never having heard this (and frankly doubting its veracity), I of course turned to the Oxford English Dictionary online through the U of M Libraries (if anyone reading this is in the position to buy me prezzies, an edition of the OED would be a lovely addition to my collection.....). Chingachgook is nowhere in that definition. So, I turned to my next favorite source, Google.
All of this is merely background fodder for introducing one of my new favorite sites: Etymology Online.
But of course, my friends and I who consider reading dictionaries to be a fun activitie, have been called geeks/nerds at one point or another, so I guess this just adds to the evidence there.
(And no, I still haven't found a reference to "Chingachgook" as the origin of the term "gook.")