One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounMaritime Provinces, Regional, New England, North American
A sleigh or sledge with a boxlike body, typically drawn by a single horse and used for carrying light loads.
A set of three identical tiles; the action of completing such a set in one's hand. Also occasionally as interjection: announcing this action to other players.
no object To take a discarded tile to complete a set of three identical tiles. Also with object: to pick up (a discarded tile) to make a set of three.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Laws of State of New York. Shortened from tom-pung from the Southern New England Algonquian cognate of Western Abenaki odôbôgan toboggan, Eastern Abenaki wətάpαkan toboggan, sled, sleigh, Ojibwa odaabaan sled, sleigh, carriage, any vehicle on which something is drawn (now also automobile, wagon) from Proto-Algonquian *weta:pya:kana from *weta:pye:- to drag with a cord + -kana instrument for. The Micmac cognate tapaĝan sled, sleigh, vehicle gives rise to toboggan<br>1920s. From Chinese pèng. Compare slightly earlier punging<br>1920s. From Chinese pèng (/pʌŋ/) to touch, bump, to meet, run into. The tile picked up is considered to meet with the two matching tiles in the player's hand.
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