Where does the word “Quahog” come from and What does Quahog mean in Native American?

Early settlers in New England found that the Indians prized the quahog, a bivalve, for a twofold reason.

First, the succulent meat provided many a welcome feast; finally, the dark spot on the inside of the shell was cut out and used for money, black wampum.

Our word is a contraction of the Narraganset poquauhock, or the Pequot p’quaughhaug, meaning “hard clam.”

The ever-romantic biologists, however, seized upon the monetary use of the clam in assigning it its Latin name, Venus mercenaria.

Quogue, another variant spelling, is also the name of a small community on Long Island, New York.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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