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1630s, shortened from wampumpeag (1620s), from Algonquian (probably Narragansett) wanpanpiak "string of white (shell beads)," from wab "white" + ompe "string" + plural suffix -ag.
Beads made from polished shells that some Native Americans once used as money and jewelry.
Money; cash; bread
[1897+; short for Algonquian wampumpeag, ''beads made from quahog shells and used as money'']