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Alternative forms[edit]


From Abenaki waniigan (pit trap, container for sundries)[1]; liken klahigan (wooden trap), Ojibwe waanikaan (pit, excavated hole).


wangan (plural wangans)

  1. (US, Maine, lumber trade) A boat for conveying provisions, tools, and so forth.
    • 1942 August, “They Play Jackstraws with Trees”, in Popular Mechanics[1], page 88:
      Wanigan or wangan was the Indian name for boathouse or houseboat, and the wanigans, carrying the cook shacks and supplies, floated down the rivers when the pioneer log drives were underway.
  2. (US, Maine, lumber trade) Any location or cache of equipment, such as a camp, building, or chest of supplies or tools.
    • 1942, Dickinson Rich, Louise, We Took to the Woods[2], JB Lippincott Co, LCCN 42024308, OCLC 405243, page 183-184:
      I should explain "wangan." It is an Indian word, and can mean almost anything, like the Latin res. It can mean a camp or building. Pond-in-the-River wangan—or Pondy wangan, as the drivers call it—is a long, low shack a third of a mile above us, where the Rapid River crew lives during the drive. There is a sign in the bunk-house that reads, "Wangan open an hour after supper." That refers to the store where the cook sells candy, tobacco, snuff, and clothing. (It really is a big box in the kitchen [...].) The cook may say, "I lost my wangan when the work boat swamped," and that means that his dishes are at the bottom of the lake. Or he may complain, "The wangan's runnin' low," meaning this time that he's short of food. Or a man may take his wangan and fly—leave the job with his little bundle of personal belongings. You can tell only by the context what the word means, and it's a very convenient word to know."
  3. (US, Maine, lumber trade) The company store debt of lumbermen.


  1. ^ 1910, Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, edited by Frederick Webb Hodge, part 2, page 910

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for wangan in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)




  1. Rōmaji transcription of わんがん