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american n See RLS 8 (1978), 30-41, NAKED MAN and NASKAPI 2 for the same sense; possibly from an original oral form *markin' man. Comb american man: a marker, usu a pile of rocks prominently placed as a guide in coastal navigation, sometimes becoming a place-name; CAIRN.
   1861 Harper's xxii, 590-1 Such caprices of the weather make it necessary to run into harbor at night; for what vessel could then run the gauntlet of hidden rocks, icebergs, and drifting ice? For these exigencies the Labrador coast is well provided [and] the securest harbors are invariably indicated by a tall pyramid of stones, piled upon the highest point of land at their entrance. These beacons are called 'American men,' from their having been erected by the Yankee fishermen, and are exceedingly useful to mariners. 1884 STEARNS 262 A pile or heap of stones [is] thrown up into some form several feet in height and usually placed on top of an island or neighbouring height to mark some position, or important spot or event. These heaps occur everywhere, and are known ... by the name 'Nascopi,' by the natives, also 'American Man' by the sailors. 1909 BROWNE 264 These cairns, of which there are several along the coast, are called by fishermen, ' 'Merican men.' [They] serve as landmarks for the fishing schooners. [1951 Nfld & Lab Pilot i, 82 A twin summit, the southern peak of which is 816 feet high and known as American summit or Captain Orlebar's cairn, lies about three-quarters of a mile northward.] C 71-130 At the very top of the highest hill overlooking the harbour at Cupids is a sort of rock structure about four feet high and two feet across known as the merican man. 1973 WIDDOWSON 233 Jack o' Lantern was supposed to live on top of the American Man (the name given to the cairn on top of Big Island in Bay Roberts). [1977 Inuit Land Use 198 Pillar Islands. Inuksutoguluk. Small inuksuk (stone cairns). (An inuksuk is a pile of rocks built to resemble a man and used as a landmark.]

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