sachem

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

First attested in the 1620s. From Narragansett sachem; compare Unami sakima (chief), Mi'kmaq saqamaw (chief). Ultimately the same Proto-Algonquian root *sa·kima·wa as sagamore.

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈseɪtʃəm/, /ˈsatʃəm/

NounEdit

sachem (plural sachems)

  1. A chief of a tribe of the American Natives; a sagamore.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 16
      Planted with their broad ends on the deck, a circle of these slabs laced together, mutually sloped towards each other, and at the apex united in a tufted point, where the loose hairy fibres waved to and fro like the top-knot on some old Pottowottamie Sachem’s head.

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Last modified on 3 April 2014, at 11:32