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frankum n also frankgum. Clipped form of OED frankincense: var franc(k)umsence. See FRANKINCENSE. The hardened resin of a spruce tree, often used for chewing; GUM.
   [c1880] 1927 DOYLE (ed) 33 "The Ryans and the Pittmans": There was one pretty maiden a-chawing of frankgum, / Just like a young kitten a-gnawing fresh fish. 1892 Christmas Review 25 After he was through, he got some 'frankum' off a tree near at hand, doubled up the rind and sealed it as complete as you please. 1903 Daily News 8 July "He's Not the Man for Green Bay": So let the old boy thank him, / If he possessed the entire sway / He'd have you "pickin" frankum. 1937 DEVINE 22 ~ Hardened gum of spruce tree, used as chewing gum. 1966 HORWOOD 134 ... a large wad of spruce gum—which the boys called 'frankum'—chewed to a soft, stringy consistency... C 69-8 Spruce trees, through various gashes, excrete a sap which hardens into a whitish or honey-coloured substance of a dry brittle texture. We called [it] frankum. If pried off the tree with a knife, usually in lumps about the size of marbles, and put into the mouth, one can chew it into a fine, dry powder. This dry powder all over one's mouth is rather disagreeable, but after about two minutes, saliva apparently begins to work on it and it grows sticky and lumps together. Eventually it will be just like chewing gum. C 70-15 This hardened resin or frankum was pink in colour and when softened in the mouth produced a gum for chewing. It was tougher than the commercial chewing gum, but it was claimed by older people to have some medicinal properties for the protection of the teeth. 1970 Evening Telegram 18 Apr, p. 22 But we knew the taste of frankum from an old spruce.

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