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[fil-uh-pee-nuh] /ˌfɪl əˈpi nə/
a custom, presumably of German origin, in which two persons share the kernels of a nut and determine that one shall receive a forfeit from the other at a later time upon the saying of a certain word or the performance of a certain action.
the thing shared.
the forfeit paid.
Also, fillipeen.
Origin of philopena
1830-40, Americanism; earlier philippina < Dutch philippine < German Vielliebchen, diminutive of viellieb very dear; in earlier form viellieb was taken as proper name Philippe Philip and -chen was made into feminine suffix -ina, giving a woman's name; in later form the word was Anglicized along pseudo-classical lines (cf. philo-, penal) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for philopena
Historical Examples
  • I owe him a philopena, and that would have been a splendid way to pay it.

    Tabitha at Ivy Hall Ruth Alberta Brown
  • This afternoon Aunt and I hunted all over town for philopena presents.

    Polly the Pagan Isabel Anderson
  • We'll have something better than that, Miss Ruth—a philopena.

    Horace Chase Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • I wish to thank him for my philopena, which came late last night.

    Horace Chase Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • O, pouted Luella, I dont suppose that meant anything either, for I caught him in a philopena on the way home that day.

    Aunt Crete's Emancipation Grace Livingston Hill
  • On her left hand she wore the wedding circlet, with her engagement-ring and the philopena guard over it.

    Horace Chase Constance Fenimore Woolson
  • Another, and highly reprehensible way of extorting a gift, is to have what is called a philopena with a gentleman.

  • There were once a Prince and a Princess who, when quite young, ate a philopena together.

  • They often thought of the philopena they had eaten together, and wondered if they should know each other when they met.

  • He would go away, and see if he could find the Princess with whom he had eaten a philopena.

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