One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A substance used by some North American Indian peoples as a substitute for tobacco or for mixing with it, typically consisting of dried sumac leaves and the inner bark of willow or dogwood.
- ‘The air reeked with the smell of paint, turpentine, Bull Durham tobacco, and the aromatic Indian herb kinnikinnick.’
- ‘One of the commonest of its common names in North America is the Algonquian word kinnikinnick, meaning ‘mixture.’’
- ‘The council is permitted to smoke sage, sweetgrass, and kinnikinnic.’
- ‘The men also make up kinnikinnik, our herbal smoking mixture, from herbs that we gathered in the previous spring, summer and fall (uva ursi, mullein, sweet clover, sage and raspberry leaves).’
- 1.1North American The bearberry, which was also sometimes used in kinnikinnick.
- ‘Several native species have begun to colonize the now stabilized dune area including Sitka spruce, evergreen huckleberry, pearly everlasting, yarrow, and kinnikinnic.’
- ‘In the adjoining mound area, I found Stella Rolph of the Salal Chapter caring for the transition outcropping site of mixed groundcovers, including kinnikinnik with the lovely Linnaea borealis intertwined freely and abundantly.’
- ‘Native Americans used both red-osier dogwood bark and leaves of the kinnikinnic (bearberry, Arcturus uva-ursi) as adulterants mixed with native tobacco - probably for the practical purpose of stretching their tobacco supply.’
- ‘Under our grove of old growth firs we planted 10 vine maples, 10 sword ferns, 5 evergreen huckleberries and 5 kinnikinniks.’
- ‘I have seen some kinnikinniks out in the wild that do have some pretty good trunks on them, but I have no idea how long it took to get that way.’
Late 18th century: from a Delaware ( Unami) word meaning ‘admixture’.
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