from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One of a class of people living in eastern Tennessee, of peculiar appearance and uncertain origin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One of a mixed white and Indian people living in parts of Tennessee and the Carolinas. They are descendants of early intermixtures of white settlers with natives. In North Carolina the Croatan Indians, regarded as descended from Raleigh's lost colony of Croatan, formerly classed with negroes, are now legally recognized as distinct.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Nobody's sure what melungeon means exactly, but it doesn't sound friendly.


  • Portugee blood -- touch o 'that melungeon tribe from over in the Fur Cove.

    Southern Lights and Shadows


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  • Good reference here .

    January 2, 2008

  • Ooh, a new denizen word - goody gumdrops! Thanks, bilby.

    January 2, 2008

  • Melungeons are people found in and around pre-American North Carolina who were free but not considered white, usually because of an infusion of native American and/or Mediterranean blood:

    "When the Spanish withdrew from North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia under British pressure, they left behind many part Indian children and probably quite a few Jews, Moors and Muslim slaves."

    "Francis Drake stopped at Roanoke for some months on his way back from raiding Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. He had several hundred Muslim seamen with him who had been freed from the Spanish and were being returned to Morocco and the Ottoman Empire."

    December 13, 2008