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Like its cognate / alternative form chinkapin, chinquapin is an alteration of chechinquamin/chincomen (the form found in early records), from an Algonquian language (sometimes said specifically to be from Powhatan). The final element is *mini ‎(berry, fruit). Hewitt suggested that the first element was a word meaning "large, great" cognate to xinkw- ‎(big, large, great).[1]


chinquapin ‎(plural chinquapins)

  1. Any of the trees in the genus Castanopsis.
  2. Any of the trees and shrubs in the genus Chrysolepis.
  3. A water-chinquapin, the water plant Nelumbo lutea, American lotus.
  4. The redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus).
  5. Alternative form of chinkapin
    1. Some of the species in the chestnut genus Castanea.
      1. Chinese chinkapin (Castanea henryi).
      2. Ozark chinkapin (Castanea ozarkensis).
      3. Allegheny chinkapin (Castanea pumila).
    2. A chinkapin oak (Quercus muhlenbergii), a species of oak whose leaves resemble those of chinkapins.




  1. ^ Bulletin 30 of the Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico: "Such forms as chincomen and chechinquamin, found in early writings, make plausible the supposition that a p was later substituted for an m in the last syllable of the word, which would then represent the widespread Algonquian radical min, 'fruit', 'seed'. The first component [...], according to Hewitt, is probably cognate with the Delaware chinqua, 'large', 'great'.