A dark, sourish bread made from whole, coarsely ground rye.
A coarse, dark, sour bread made of unsifted rye flour.
Origin of pumpernickel
- German probably from dialectal term of abuse obsolete Pumper breaking wind (from dialectal pumpern to break wind) (from Middle High German to knock) (frequentative of pumpen of imitative origin) German Nickel goblin nickel
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- "dark rye bread," 1756, pompernickel, from German (Westphalian dialect) Pumpernickel (1663), originally an abusive nickname for a stupid person, from pumpern "to break wind" + Nickel "goblin, lout, rascal," from proper name Niklaus (see Nicholas). An earlier German name for it was krankbrot, literally "sick-bread."