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A peach palm (Bactris gasipaes) in Bahia, Brazil, which is known as a peewah (sense 1) in Trinidad and Tobago.
The fruit of the peach palm is also known as a peewah (sense 2) in Trinidad and Tobago.

Borrowed from Trinidadian Creole English peewa, peewah, from Spanish pijguao (Latin America), possibly from Quechua [Term?].[1] The English word is cognate with Spanish pifá, pivá (Panama), pijuayo (Peru).



peewah (plural peewahs) (Trinidad and Tobago)

  1. The peach palm (Bactris gasipaes), a South American palm tree.
    Synonym: pupunha
    • 1910, Department of Agriculture, Legislative Council, Trinidad and Tobago, [Council Paper], Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Government Printer, OCLC 32479440, page 16:
      The Pewa or Peach palm (Guilielma speciosa) was introduced from Trinidad, and seedlings raised for distribution. The fruits when boiled in water with salt are appreciated as a food.
    • [1947 December 27, L[iberty] H[yde] Bailey, Indigenous Palms of Trinidad and Tobago (Gentes Herbarum: Occasional Papers on the Kinds of Plants), volume VII, fascicle IV, Ithaca, N.Y.: Bailey Hortorium of The New York State College of Agriculture, Cornell University, OCLC 1039864893, page 353:
      This Guilielma [the peach palm or pejibaye (Guilielma gasipaes)] is prized in Trinidad, as well as elsewhere, for its edible fruits; by the natives I have heard it called piliwa and piwa.]
    • 1984, Jeffrey W. Dellimore; Judy A. Whitehead, Secondary Agrobased Industries: ECCM and Barbados (Caribbean Technology Policy Studies Project; 90), Mona, Jamaica: Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of the West Indies, OCLC 13456796, page 79:
      Nonconventional sources with development potential include: [...] wild plants such as gru gru, pewa (peach nut), many weeds and, possibly, the seeds of seaside grapes, fat pork, etc.
  2. The edible fruit of this plant, which has an orange or red skin when ripe, orange pulp which turns floury when cooked, and a single large seed.
    • 1994, Sylvia Moodie-Kablalsingh, The Cocoa Panyols of Trinidad: An Oral Record, London; New York, N.Y.: British Academic Press, →ISBN, page 42:
      Nicolasa had boiled a couple dozen peewahs. They were of a floury consistency. I cracked open the nuts and chewed them slowly, squeezing out the juice against my palate.
    • 1996, Nalo Hopkinson, “A Habit of Waste”, in Fireweed, Toronto, Ont.: Fireweed Inc., ISSN 0706-3857, OCLC 925049343, page 40, column 2; republished in Victor J[ammona] Ramraj, editor, Concert of Voices: An Anthology of World Writing in English, 2nd edition, Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2009, →ISBN, page 186:
      I start to remember Julie mango, how it sweet, and chataigne and peewah that me mother would boil up in a big pot a' salt water, and how my father always had he little kitchen garden, growin' dasheen leaf and pigeon peas and yam and thing.
    • 2000 November, Karl Burgess, “La Vega Estate”, in Pamela Collins, editor, Proceedings: Regional Agro-tourism Conference: Agro-tourism – a Sustainable Approach to Economic Growth [], Trinidad and Tobago: Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, OCLC 47249533, page 79:
      Mr. [Bertram] Manhin's travels resulted in his introducing into the country fruits like Pewa (Bactris gasipaes) from Costa Rica, Brazil and Peru; [...]
    • 2009, Ann Vanderhoof, “Curry Tabanca: Trinidad”, in The Spice Necklace: A Food-lover’s Caribbean Adventure, Toronto, Ont.: Doubleday Canada, →ISBN, page 190:
      Every Saturday, I make it my mission to buy something new: [...] peewah, which look like cute, golf-ball-sized coconuts (they're the fruit of a different palm tree) and are a popular Trini snack. Boiled in well-salted water, peeled and popped into our mouths, they remind us of roasted chestnuts.
    • 2013 April 6, Angelo Bissessarsingh, “The marchandes of Port-of-Spain”, in Trinidad and Tobago Guardian[1], Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Trinidad Pub. Co., OCLC 676980286, archived from the original on 9 July 2020:
      The fruit of the land would also be sold from wooden trays—peewah, topi tambo, pois doux and other natural treats.

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. ^ Lise Winer (2009) , “peewa, peewah”, in Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago: On Historical Principles, Montreal, Que.: McGill–Queen’s University Press, →ISBN, page 682, column 1.

Further reading[edit]