Outside of America, Yankee and its contraction Yank are terms generally applied to all Americans. Within America, however, Yankee refers only to Americans from the north eastern states. Yankee is first cited, according to the OED, from 1688, but the OED maintains the origin is unknown because the etymology to date remains unconvincing. The contention however, that it is originally of Dutch origin does seem plausible. The territory of what now comprises the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and western parts of Connecticut were originally a Dutch colony called New Netherland, founded around 1612. It was ceded to the English in 1674 as part of the reparations imposed by England after the Third Anglo-Dutch War. The most common name in Dutch is John. In Dutch, this would be Jan, pronounced as if beginning with a Y. The diminutive for Jan in Old Dutch would be Jantje pronounced Yankee. An alternative theory is that Yankee is a conflation of the Dutch names Jan and Kees, where Kees is short for Cornelius, another very popular Dutch name. There is also some evidence that British sailors used to refer to Dutch sailors as Yankees. All of which when taken together, makes it plausible that early British colonists may also have called their Dutch colonist neighbours, ‘Yankees’. When the American War of Independence broke out 100 years later in 1775, Americans that fought against the British were generally referred to as Yankees.