First known attestation from 1880 where the term was described as being used "because no matter what [the Indians] have done [committed crimes] upon one side they feel perfectly secure after having arrived upon the other". A synonymous term which was attested earlier is medicine road from 1869 and ostensibly a calque of a Sioux term transcribed as "pejuta canku". Unrecorded use of the term or a similar one may date back more than a century earlier than the first attestation. See also medicine (“protective charm among the Native Americans”).
Proper noun edit
- (informal, Canada, US) The Canada-United States border; the 49th parallel north: a circle of latitude that is 49° north of Earth's equator.
Usage notes edit
Primarily used in the context of discussions of Native Americans or First Nations people.
- LaDow, Beth (2002), “The "Melting Pot of Hell"”, in The Medicine Line: Life and Death on a North American Borderland, Routledge, →DOI, →ISBN, →OCLC, pages 40-41
- ^ L. N. F. Crozier (December 1880), “Report of Superintendent L. N. F. Crozier”, in Sessional papers of the Dominion of Canada: Third Session of the Fourth Parliament, volume 3, Ottawa: MacLean, Roger & Co., page 33