wampum

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From wampumpeag (from Narragansett), due to Europeans' mistaken interpretation of the term as a compound of ‘wampum’ + ‘peag’; it is, in fact, a compound of wamp, wompi (white) + umpe (string) + -ag (plural suffix), in reference to the string of white shell-beads and not the individual beads.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

wampum (plural wampums or wampum)

  1. Small beads made from polished shells, especially white ones, formerly used as money and jewelry by certain Native American peoples.
  2. (informal) Money.

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