Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. See wampum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Wampum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of aboriginal shell money, or wampum, of the Atlantic coast of the United States; -- originally applied only to polished white cylindrical beads. See also wampum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Among the North American Indians, in colonial days, a sort of money consisting of beads made from the ends of shells, rubbed down and polished and strung into belts or necklaces, which were valued according to their length and the perfection of their workmanship. Black or purple peag was worth twice as much as white, length for length.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small cylindrical beads made from polished shells and fashioned into strings or belts; used by certain Native American peoples as jewelry or currency

Etymologies

Short for wampumpeag.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the latter part of the Narragansett word wampumpeag. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Finding the swiftest pursuer close upon his heels, he threw off, first his blanket, then his silver-laced coat and belt of peag, by which his enemies knew him to be Canonchet, and redoubled the eagerness of pursuit.

    The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon

  • It should be said, in justice to the New Haven colonists, though they were the most opulent of the New England planters, save the wealthy settlers of Narragansett, that money of all kinds was scarce, and that the Indian money, wampum-peag, being made of a comparatively frail sea-shell, was more easily disfigured and broken than was metal coin; and that there was little transferable wealth in the community anyway, even in "Country Pay."

    Sabbath in Puritan New England

  • Finding the swiftest pursuer close upon his heels, he threw off, first his blanket, then his silver-laced coat and belt of peag, by which his enemies knew him to be Canonchet and redoubled the eagerness of pursuit.

    The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon

  • I had promised to write for them, but the peag being bi-ought me, & so litle, & they quarrelling among them - sclues, & foolishly charging inferior Sacbims of nonpay - ment, I was not free.

    Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

  • Our neighbours messengers are gone to (not rctiu'ned from) Massachusetts, with about 20H or upwards of peag.

    Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society

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