philopena

philopena

[fil-uh-pee-nuh]
noun
1.
a custom, presumably of German origin, in which two persons share the kernels of a nut and determine that one shall receive a forfeit from the other at a later time upon the saying of a certain word or the performance of a certain action.
2.
the thing shared.
3.
the forfeit paid.
Also, fillipeen.


Origin:
1830–40, Americanism; earlier philippina < Dutch philippine < German Vielliebchen, diminutive of viellieb very dear; in earlier form viellieb was taken as proper name Philippe Philip and -chen was made into feminine suffix -ina, giving a woman's name; in later form the word was Anglicized along pseudo-classical lines (cf. philo-, penal)

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