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 Tonto on Wikipedia


From Spanish tonto (fool), from Western Apache kounʼnde (wild rough people).

Proper nounEdit


  1. Sidekick of the Lone Ranger
  2. A member of the Tonto Apaches.



Tonto (plural Tontos)

  1. A sidekick.
    • 2004, Lee Godden, ZenWise Selling: Mindful Methods to Improve Your Sales, page 141:
      Salespeople may see themselves as Lone Rangers, not in need of any help, save for the occasional advice from a Tonto (or technical sales specialist).
    • 2006, Douglas Snauffer, Crime television, page 130:
      Hardcastle realized he couldn't go it alone and would need a “Tonto.” He found his trusty sidekick in “Skid” Mark McCormack
    • 2010, Stephen Arterburn; Jack Felton, More Jesus, Less Religion: Moving from Rules to Relationship, page 133:
      So do you have a Tonto in your life? If not, find one and make that person your trusted companion.
  2. A Native American who accepts a subservient position to a white person.
    • 1982, Iron Eyes Cody; Collin Perry, Iron Eyes, my life as a Hollywood Indian:
      They called Indians like him — that is, any Indian who tried to make it by working within the system — a "Tonto."
    • 1999, Ellenor Ranghild Merriken, Looking for country: a Norwegian immigrant's Alberta memoir, page 21:
      Once more, Beyond the Survey takes up the topic, introducing a character Mowees (obviously an "Indianificarion" of the common Metis name Moise) who unfortunately never rises above the level of a Tonto figure.
    • 2002, Jim Sleeper, Liberal racism, page 130:
      Law Schools, a critical race theorist likened Kennedy to a Tonto figure, the fictional Indian whose loyalty to the Lone Ranger set him apart from, if not against, his tribe.
    • 2003, Benjamin DeMott; Arthur Asa Berger, Supergrow: essays and reports on imagination in America, page 11:
      An example: The Black Panther Chairman abuses the black Supreme Court Justice (the latter having just denied a Cleaver plea) as an "Uncle Tom, a bootlicker, a nigger pig, a Tonto, and a punk."
    • 2007, Lisa Alther, Kinfolks: falling off the family tree, page 20:
      But clearly she's a Two Hearts, not a Tonto.
    • 2007, Jabari Asim, The N word: who can say it, who shouldn't, and why, page 185:
      In the best circumstances, he was devastatingly witty and slyly subversive; in the worst, he was merely a Tonto with an Afro.

See alsoEdit