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[puhm-per-nik-uh l] /ˈpʌm pərˌnɪk əl/
a coarse, dark, slightly sour bread made of unbolted rye.
Origin of pumpernickel
1750-60; < German Pumpernickel orig., an opprobrious name for anyone considered disagreeable, equivalent to pumper(n) to break wind + Nickel hypocoristic from of Nikolaus Nicholas (cf. nickel); presumably applied to the bread from its effect on the digestive system Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pumpernickel
  • The bread selection consists of dinner rolls, a rich pumpernickel, and pretzel bread.
  • The winners put the burger and sauce on pumpernickel bread, which really added a savory sensation to the dish.
British Dictionary definitions for pumpernickel


a slightly sour black bread, originating in Germany, made of coarse rye flour
Word Origin
C18: from German, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pumpernickel

"dark rye bread," 1756, pompernickel, from German (Westphalian dialect) Pumpernickel (1663), originally an abusive nickname for a stupid person, from pumpern "to break wind" + Nickel "goblin, lout, rascal," from proper name Niklaus (see Nicholas). An earlier German name for it was krankbrot, literally "sick-bread."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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