One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a number of North American coniferous trees, in particular the tamarack.
- ‘Little and white and high on a smooth round hill it stood, with hackmatacks and apple-trees before it, and a big barn-roof beyond.’
- ‘She brought her tea-pot with her, and made herself a good cup of tea over a fire kindled from the hackmatacks, bleached white, so many of which you see standing like skeletons down on the shoulders of the mountain, just as though a great grave-yard had been shaken open by an earthquake.’
- ‘There is also oak, and maple, beech and hackmatacks.’
- ‘The time has come for the hackmatacks to turn golden before shedding their needles for the winter.’
- ‘Here, among the alders and young hackmatacks, at the foot of the apple tree, Lennie had dug a beautiful hole, five feet long, three feet wide, three feet deep.’
Late 18th century: perhaps from Western Abnaki.
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