Tonto is a fictional character; he is the Native American (either Comanche or Potawatomi) companion of the Lone Ranger, a popular American Western character created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker.
In Navajo, on the other hand, “kemosabe” translates as “ soggy shrub.” If this seems an odd thing for faithful friend Tonto to call the Lone Ranger, perhaps he was just repaying the Ranger’s long-standing insult. “Tonto,” after all, is a Spanish word meaning “stupid.”
Silverheels, a full-blooded Mohawk, was born on the Six Nations Indian Reservation in Ontario, Canada, and moved to the United States with his family in the 1930s.
This from Wikipedia: The radio series identified Tonto as a chief’s son in the Potawatomi nation. His name translates as wild one in his own language.
The Yale Book of Quotations defines the word as “ faithful friend or trusty scout,” and this is the most common interpretation.
It has become a common catchphrase. Ultimately derived from gimoozaabi, an Ojibwe and Potawatomi word that may mean “he/she looks out in secret”, it has been occasionally translated as “trusty scout” (the first Lone Ranger TV episode, 1941) or “faithful friend”.
Tonto is a fictional character; he is the Native American (either Comanche or Potawatomi) companion of the Lone Ranger, a popular American Western character created by George W. Show creator Trendle grew up in Michigan, and knew members of the local Potawatomi tribe, who told him it meant “wild one” in their language.
— Even in the animal world, Hollywood stardom is all about timing. Take the 10-year-old Thoroughbred quarter horse called Silver who happened to be born with a pure white coat. The horse was a natural for animal scouts looking for the right horse to play the famous steed called Silver in the The Lone Ranger reboot.
He starred as Silver in “The Lone Ranger” Television Series from 1949 to 1954, and was thought to be one of the most popular horses of all the western heroes. He was retired after a brief stand-in appearance in the 1956 movie, “The Lone Ranger”, and was only used for close ups and head shots thereafter.
Clayton Moore (born Jack Carlton Moore, September 14, 1914 – December 28, 1999) was an American actor best known for playing the fictional western character the Lone Ranger from 1949 to 1952 and 1953 to 1957 on the television series of the same name and two related movies from the same producers.
The neighboring Western Apache ethnonym for them was Koun’nde (“wild rough People”), from which the Spanish derived their use of Tonto ( “loose”, “foolish” ) for the group.
Aficionados of old-time radio and television know that the Lone Ranger’s faithful Indian companion is Tonto and that Tonto’s horse is Scout. In real-life, TV’s Tonto was the late Jay Silverheels. And his horse is Hi Ho Silverheels, a standardbred named in memory of the actor by a close friend, trainer Milan Smith.
It always depends on the context but in general, do not say tonto to someone until you know him/her well. It is exactly the same as calling someone “fool”. Sometimes is offensive and sometimes it is not. ‘Tonta’ I think is a playful word because my ex-sister-in-law calls me ‘tonta’.
Hence his moniker—the Lone Ranger. Later, via his first film appearances in 1938, the Ranger’s back story was even more fully fleshed out. His real name was John Reid. He, his brother, Dan, and four other Texas Rangers had been ambushed in the Badlands by the outlaw Butch Cavendish and his gang.
During the inquiry hearings, several members of the Mi’kmaq community testified that ” kemosabe” was a racial slur, although others said they were not offended by it.
He is pictured lower right with Clayton Moore who portrayed the masked man. Moore. “In the very opening scene of the Lone Ranger show he was on (his horse) Silver on top of the hill. That was really his stunt double Wayne Burson and his stunt horse.