The origin of this word for an important person is from the Chinook Jargon muckamuck, meaning food, or when used as a vert to eat. Chinook Jargon, not to be confused with the native American language Chinook, was a pidgin used by traders in the American Northwest with Chinook, Nootka, English, and French at its core. Muckamuck may originally come from the Nootka mahomaq, meaning whalemeat, but this last is uncertain.
English use of muckamuck, in the sense of to eat, dates to 1838 when it appears in a glossary, Samuel Parker’s Journal of an Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains:
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Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton