American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts, formerly used by certain Native American peoples as currency and jewelry or for ceremonial exchanges between groups. Also called peag.
- n. Informal Money.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Small shell beads pierced and strung, used as money and for or nament by the North American Indians. The shell was cut away, leaving only a cylinder like a Euro pean bugle. Wampum was of two kinds, white and black or dark-purple. An imitation of wampum consisting of white porcelain beads of the same shape has been made by Europeans for sale to the Indians. See the second quo tation under wampumpeag.
- n. Small beads made from polished shells, especially white ones, formerly used as money and jewelry by certain Native American peoples.
- n. informal Money.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Beads made of shells, used by the North American Indians as money, and also wrought into belts, etc., as an ornament.
- n. small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts; used by certain Native American peoples as jewelry or currency
- n. informal terms for money
- Abbreviated from wampumpeag (from Narragansett); falsely analysed as ‘wampum’ + ‘peag’; from ‘wamp’ ("white") + ‘umpe’ ("string") + ‘ag’ (plural suffix), in reference to the string of white shell-beads and not the individual beads. (Wiktionary)
- Short for wampumpeag. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The shells of these clams are used by the Indians as money, and make what they call their wampum; they likewise serve their women for an ornament, when they intend to appear in full dress.”
“The shells of these clams are used by the Indians as money, and make what they call their wampum; they likewise serve their women for an ornament when they intend to appear in full dress.”
“The word wampum [wompam],  which has since become a general term, was restricted by the Indians to the white beads.”
“ That is, the French commander said that the Indians had accepted wampum from the French towns, and therefore could not complain of them.”
“I admired his war-girdle and moccasins, speaking somewhat carelessly of the beautiful shell-work designs as "wampum" -- an Iroquois term.”
“The wampum was her family record, badge of her office; speech made while holding it was tantamount to testimony made upon the Bible.”
“The Indians had a sort of money, called wampum, which was made of clam-shells; and this strange sort of specie was likewise taken in payment of debts by the English settlers.”
“Almost all the natives had Indian money, called wampum, which they made from abalone or clam-shells by cutting out round pieces like buttons or small, hollow beads.”
“The Indians had a sort of money called wampum, which was made of clam-shells, and this strange sort of specie was likewise taken in payment of debts by the English settlers.”
“Rich furs, green tobacco and long strings of gay and polished shells called wampum were gladly exchanged by the Indians for bits of colored glass, beads, hatchets and knives, commencing a trade that was later extensively carried on in the north by the Hudson Bay Trading Company, and at the mouth of the river by the Dutch settlers.”
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Words derived from the innumerable languages of native Americans and the First Nations of Canada. I want to shine some light on this underexposed etymological background to so many common (and som...
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Monetary units and other words that mean money. Other financial words are allowed too, as long as they're principally about money. Get it, principally? I kill me.
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