wan·i·gan or wan·ni·gan (wŏn’ĭ-gən) also wan·gun (wŏn’gən, wăng’-)
n. 1) New England & Upper Northern US a) A boat or small chest equipped with supplies for a lumber camp. b) Provisions for a camp or cabin. 2) Alaska a) A small house, bunkhouse, or shed mounted on skids and towed behind a tractor train as eating and sleeping quarters for a work crew. b) An addition built onto a trailer house for extra living or storage space.
[Ojibwa waanikaan, storage pit.]
Word History: Wanigan is apparently a borrowing of Ojibwa waanikaan, "storage pit," a word derived from the verb waanikkee-, "to dig a hole in the ground." Citations from the 1800s in the Oxford English Dictionary indicate that the word was then associated chiefly with the speech of Maine. It denoted a storage chest containing small supplies for a lumber camp, a boat outfitted to carry such supplies, or the camp provisions in general. In Alaska, on the western edge of the vast territory inhabited by Algonquian-speaking peoples, the same word was borrowed into English to indicate a little temporary hut, usually built on a log raft to be towed to wherever work was being done. According to Russell Tabbert of the University of Alaska, wanigan is still used in the northernmost regions of Alaska to designate a small house, bunkhouse, or shed that is mounted on skids so that it can be dragged along behind a tractor train and used as a place for a work crew to eat and sleep. However, Tabbert notes that in southeast Alaska, where mobile homes are a common option for housing, wanigan now means an addition built onto a trailer house for extra living or storage space. Classified advertisements for trailer homes frequently mention wanigans.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • wannigan — noun see wanigan * * * wannegan, wannigan varr. wanigan …   Useful english dictionary

  • wannigan — noun see wanigan …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • wannigan — noun A box used to store food on canoe or sledding trips. Usually made of wood. Syn: camp box, chuck box, grub box, patrol box …   Wiktionary

  • wanigan — or wannigan noun Etymology: Ojibwa wa•nikka•n pit Date: circa 1848 a shelter (as for sleeping, eating, or storage) often mounted on wheels or tracks and towed by tractor or mounted on a raft or boat …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Lake Temagami — Infobox lake lake name = Lake Temagami image lake = Temagami 79.97192W 47.01192N.jpg caption lake = The lake with its many branches, bays and islands image bathymetry = caption bathymetry = location = Temagami, Ontario coords =… …   Wikipedia

  • Flambeau River — The Flambeau River is a tributary of the Chippewa River in northern Wisconsin, USA. It drains an area of 1860 square miles [USGS gauging station at Bruce, WI near the mouth, http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?05360500] and descends from an… …   Wikipedia

  • wanigan — /won i geuhn/, n. 1. a lumberjack s trunk. 2. a lumber camp s supply chest. 3. a small house on wheels or tractor treads, used as an office or shelter in temporary lumber camps. 4. (esp. in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest) a lean to or other… …   Universalium

  • wannegan — wannegan, wannigan varr. wanigan …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.