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Some sources claim the term is "Native American", but do not specify from which language or culture it is derived. --Chaswmsday (talk) 00:05, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
This book, Native American place names of Indiana, describes "Pelisipia", Jefferson's proposed state name, as coming from a Miami-Illinois term for the Ohio River. Not sure how this relates to the Clinch River. Pfly (talk) 03:04, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
The link you provided has pileewa siipiiwi, which it translated as "Turkey River". Looking at http://www.myaamiadictionary.org, pileewa is translated as "chicken" or "fowl", with nalaaohki pileewa or "native fowl" the term used for "turkey". Siipiiwi translates to "river".
I've also run across the Mitchell Map, created ca. 1750 by John Mitchell. Mitchell seemed to call the Clinch River the "Pelisipi River" and labeled one of its tributaries as "Clinch's R." It's hard to say if he had some basis for doing so, or whether he just had a leftover name, having called the Ohio River "Ohio" or "Splawacipiki", which looks similar to some of the other names in your book link. --Chaswmsday (talk) 13:52, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Another reference to "Pelisipi" being a name for the Ohio River, without origin given, comes from The Providence Gazette and Country Journal, April 10, 1784, . --Chaswmsday (talk) 18:27, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
@Orlady, per recent edits to this page, it would seem that there is a widely-held misperception about the derivation of the word "Pellissippi". As a college, a prominent road (and possibly other facilities, businesses and institutions of which I'm not aware) are named after an old American Indian name for the Clinch River, this is probably the best venue within Wikipedia to address and correct this misperception. @Orlady, I'd welcome your input and local knowledge. Thanks. --Chaswmsday (talk) 20:07, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
My edits to your article additions were intended to make them conform with the way the encyclopedia is written. Specifically, to conform with encyclopedia style, I converted your commentaries into footnotes and I removed your "see Talk:Clinch River" entries from the articles. Did I make some other change that leads you to think that I was arguing with you? --Orlady (talk) 21:15, 19 August 2013 (UTC) Your research above, regarding other maps that use similar "Indian names" for other rivers, is original research that cannot be cited as a basis for encyclopedia content. --Orlady (talk) 21:17, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
No, no arguments were intended about stylistic changes. My previous verbiage was inappropriate and quite awkward. :)
It would appear though, that apparently long-standing claims about the name's Cherokee origins do not come from reliable sources, i.e. a college's unsupported, off-hand claim, and when I first looked into it, either a newspaper or TV reporter's equally unsupported claim in response to a reader/viewer. There are what appear to be RSs for Ohio River = Pelisipi, in the Indiana place names cite, and in the contemporary 1784 newspaper report. There may be fewer RSs for Clinch River = Pelisipi, other than including hedging prose something like "The circa 1755 Mitchell Map is an early source calling the Clinch River the "Pelisipi". This may be related to the Miami-Illiois name for the Ohio River..." Are there any contemporary accounts by Mitchell explaining why he named things as he did? --Chaswmsday (talk) 21:43, 19 August 2013 (UTC)