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See also: Tuckahoe



Alternative formsEdit


From Powhatan tockawhoughe. The "person" sense implies that such a person was so poor as to be reduced to eating the root.



tuckahoe (countable and uncountable, plural tuckahoes)

  1. Any edible root of a plant used by Native Americans of colonial-era Virginia.
    • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, page 142:
      In June, July, and August, they feed upon the rootes of Tockwough berries, fish, and greene wheat.
    • 1996, Karen Mueller Coombs, Sarah on Her Own:
      The ponderous beast had spent the summer eating tuckahoe roots, the autumn eating acorns and nuts, and was now as heavy as two stout men.
    1. The wild potato, the arrow arum, Peltandra virginica.
  2. (uncommon, US, Virginia dialect, largely obsolete) A person, especially if poor and malnourished (or if implied to be), living east of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.
    • 1828 February 8, "Tusgarora" (pen name), in a letter to the editor of The American Farmer, page 372:
      [] at least until you either get poor Tuckahoe out of his present hobble, in furnishing so many strong suspicions against the sincerity of his former professions of patriotism, []
    • 1963, Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, The Old South: the founding of American civilization, page 213:
      The poor Tuckahoe, however, when he purchased land in Washington County, or the Shenandoah, or in Rowan, seems to have left behind him, not only his worn-out fields and his tumbledown house, but his wasteful methods.
  3. The sclerotium of the wood-decay fungus Wolfiporia extensa, used by Native Americans and the Chinese as food and as a herbal medicine.