roanoke

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See also: Roanoke

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Powhatan rawrenock (things rubbed smooth by hand).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

roanoke (uncountable)

  1. (US, historical) White beads of low value made from shells, formerly used for ornaments and currency by Native Americans of colonial Virginia.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 94:
      Cuscarawaoke, where is made so much Rawranoke or white beads that occasion as much dissention among the savages, as gold and silver amongst Christians []
    • 1656, John Tradescant, Musaeum Tradescantianum, pages 47 and 51, different spelling as printed:
      Pohatan, King of Virgiania's habit all embroidered with shells, or Roanoke (p. 47); Virginian purses imbroidered with Roanoake (p. 51)
    • 1993, Joseph Douglas Deal, Race and class in colonial Virginia: Indians, Englishmen, and Africans on the Eastern Shore during the seventeenth century, page 23:
      The king of Machepungo was ordered to deliver over twice as much roanoke in graduated payments over the course of eight months.