Of, relating to, or designating a North American Indian people, formerly inhabiting the area of the Nanticoke River on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Delaware. Later, also (in extended use): of, relating to, or designating a confederacy of closely related peoples residing on the Eastern Shore, including the Nanticoke, Choptank, and others.
1A member of the Nanticoke people. Later, also (in extended use): a member of the Nanticoke confederacy.
2The extinct Eastern Algonquian language spoken by the Nanticoke and neighbouring groups until the mid-19th century.
This language was most closely related to Conoy (or Piscataway), the two being sometimes referred to as Nanticoke–Conoy.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Proceedings Council Maryland. From a Virginia Algonquian place name first attested in an English context as Nautaquake, denoting a place inhabited by the Nanticoke tribe; compare Munsee wənéhtkoːw, a Nanticoke person, Mahican Wenuhtukowuk (plural).