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Thread: Are We Speaking English?

  1. #26
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    Ontonagon, MI, Upper, that is. Said to be something close to "I lost my bowl", Indian.
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  2. #27
    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
    They used Osage Orange Trees to make bows and arrows. Those trees that drop the softball size, green,
    knarley (sp) fruits in the fall. Wonderful trees. They are usually found growing in old hedge rows because they were used as living fences in Colonial times.
    peace
    Yes; locals call them hedge apple trees. We have used many of them to make fence posts--never straight, but they last forever.
    Courtesy is not optional.

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  3. #28
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I think it is lovely how each country has its English interpretation of native words and it is even nicer to know the meaning. We have place names such as Oodnadatta, meaning "mulga blossom",Parramatta, "a place of eels" and Cabramatta, "a place of worms". Of course, there are many more. I especially like the brevity of the Aboriginal languages where one word requires many English words to translate the meaning.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
    They used Osage Orange Trees to make bows and arrows. Those trees that drop the softball size, green,
    knarley (sp) fruits in the fall. Wonderful trees. They are usually found growing in old hedge rows because they were used as living fences in Colonial times.
    peace
    Yes, and farmers used those trees to mark their property boundaries.....I call those green fruit of the tree st. George apples, although not edible, we throw a few in the corners of the basement to keep spiders out...seems to work. The wood of that tree is very hard and strong......

  5. #30
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maviskw View Post
    Wisconsin is a Native American word, as are a lot of Wisconsin cities.
    Minnesota is also an Indian word from the Sioux/Ojibwe/ AnishinaabeChippewa meaning "Mnisota - Sky-Tinted Waters". Over 10,000 Lakes like Hiawatha, Nokomis, Winnibigoshish . We have towns like Wanamingo, Waskish, Nay-Tah-Waush. We also have the Scandinavian names, the German names, French names and good old American names like Prosper, Walnut Grove, Sacred Heart, Faith, and, of course, the ever popular PROSIT! A toast to Minnesota----my state, St. Paul - my city named after the Saint Paul. St. Paul was originallly named Pigs Eye after Pigs Eye Perrault, a French river man and gambler and all around ne-er do well. He lived in a cave by the Mississippi River here in St. Paul. Well, apparently St. Paul was a better person than old Pigs Eye and there is a dump named after him not far from downtown St. Paul. So Pigs Eye went to the dumps and St. Paul took over the name of the Capitol City of Minnesota. I love state stories.

    My mother was born in Wisconsin and didn't speak a word of English until my grandmother was chastised for not teaching Mom English (this goes back to the early 1920's. There was some dislike of the Germans/Prussians during WWI and so rather than be ostracized from the town, Mom learned English.) My father's parents were from Sweden and my father's mother never spoke a word of English. My grandfather did learn English as he was owner of a mill and a lumberjack (they were from Michigan (Yooper). My father went through confirmation class in total Swedish and with the exception of a few words, he never spoke the language. That makes me 1/2 German and 1/2 Swede and my husband was 1/2 German and 1/2 Norwegian. So we complemented each other just perfect, almost - he was Norwegian and I was Swede. It's a Minnesota thing - Swedes and Norwegians. And to cap this all off, my Swedish grandpa's name was Ole. Honest and truly.

    Thank you for bringing up the subject. Edie
    Last edited by Edie; 09-05-2014 at 05:17 AM.
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  6. #31
    Junior Member Fifee's Avatar
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    Glasgow in Scots Gaelic is Ghlaschu which is the Gaelic form of an older language. In reading this thread I've had a quick snoop around the web and found that many English names of locales around here are derived again from Scots Gaelic. Makes me wonder if any area names are just English rather than the English translation of Gaelic.

  7. #32
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    And when we do borrow a name, we change the pronounciation.

    Vee-enna Austria -- VI-enna, VA.

    Ber-LIN, Germany -- BER-lin, NH

    Lee-ma, Peru -- LI-ma, OH.

    Stootgart, Germany - Stuttgart, AR.

  8. #33
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    For those of you who are interested in the evolution of the English Language (up to and including "new" words added from the America's, Australia, and other "English" speaking nations) I highly recommend reading ...

    The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg. Actually, I recommend listening to it on audio books as you can hear the changes the language underwent.

    It was also made into a BBC tv series. One of these days I'm going to find a copy of it.

    The book was excellent!!

    My husband is an English immigrant and he and I constantly do battle over the language. He is often mystified how places with names like Macinac is pronounced Macinaw, and Illinois is pronounced Illinoy. I am befuddled how the English spell Grossvenor and pronounce it Grovenor, and they say "shedule" but not "shool" when they both have the same Sch beginning.

    So just when you think what a travesty the American's have made of the English language, we come by it honestly as the English have managed to screw up a good bit of it all by themselves
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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  9. #34
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    I live in Homosassa, also an Indian name.

  10. #35
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    I lived in Oconomowoc Wisconsin named after a tribe of Indians who walked and walked to find a place to live and the lead Indian said he (can no more walk) so this is a true story as to the name of my home town. Really funny how towns are named.The Indians settled there on the spot.
    peanutbrittle

  11. #36
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    The full name of the city of Los Angeles was: El Pueblo Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula.
    It was originally settled by Spaniards.
    Sharon in Texas


  12. #37
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick -- meaning "river of long tides"

  13. #38
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    My husband has been telling this one for as long as I have known him. In Vermont (he thinks it's in Vermont), there is a lake called "Lake Sha-gug-a-gug man-chug-a-gug she-bunna-gunna ga-mog.
    It means: "You fish on your side of the lake and I'll fish on my side of the lake and he who fishes in the middle gets an arrow in the back."
    You can just imagine a small boy learning that and remembering that for the rest of his life.
    It is actually in an atlas that he had. He gave it away.


    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
    That's the great thing about the English language, it's so flexible. If we need a word we don't have, we just find it in another language and it eventually becomes part of our language! LOL
    Just south of Houston, there's a town originally settled by Danish, called Danevang. We also have many German, Polish, and Czech town names. On the 1850 census, San Antonio had more Germans than Mexicans. Even most San Antonians don't know that. English is an interesting language, because it has absorbed so many foreign words, which we hardly even recognize as foreign. We sit out on our patios in good weather and send our kiddos to Kindergarten; our teenagers drive us "berserk" (straight out of Old Icelandic); we sometimes enjoy eating Wienerschnitzel and kraut and dolmades and crepes Suzette and piroschki. On second thought, we don't seem to have a word for "patio" in English ("deck" doesn't quite do the trick). What would we sit out on if we didn't borrow "patio"? Oh, and I wear my mukluks and parka when it's cold and slushy, don't you?

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol34446 View Post
    I live in Homosassa, also an Indian name.
    Lots of Indian names in Florida - Tallahassee, Mikosukee, Okeefenokee, and Atchafalaya in Louisiana. Then there's the Chattahoochee River. Most people think Texas comes from a Spanish word, but it doesn't - it's from the Tejas Indians.

  16. #41
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    By the way, did you know that the French say that English is simply French, poorly spoken? The Germans, of course, have quite a different take on that.

  17. #42
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    There is a lake in western Massachusetts that has 45 letters. Very few people can pronounce it. It fact, people who live there have given up and just call it Lake Webster after the town.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  18. #43
    Super Member MissM's Avatar
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    I live on Chautauqua St named after said Indian tribe, The word Chautauqua means two moccasins tied together, at least to the tribes that lived in the plains states. I am KS ad live right along the St Fe Trail.
    Last edited by MissM; 09-06-2014 at 05:05 PM.
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  19. #44
    Super Member MissM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
    I really feel like there's GOTTA be a good story behind these names. Especially the first one, LOL
    There I also Blue Eye, AR and a Drummods, TN
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston1954 View Post
    There is a lake in western Massachusetts that has 45 letters. Very few people can pronounce it. It fact, people who live there have given up and just call it Lake Webster after the town.
    Sounds like the lake my husband talks about. Maybe it is in Massachusetts. Only 39 letters, but I really don't know how to spell it. I just put down what he said the best I could.
    "Lake Sha-gug-a-gug man-chug-a-gug she-bunna-gunna ga-mog.

    See post 38 for definition.
    Last edited by maviskw; 09-06-2014 at 06:11 PM.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  21. #46
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    In New Zealand our English has a lot of Maori place names, like Putaruru which means place of owls, ruru is the name for owls, And it is pronounced like Poo-ta-roo, Kia is the name for food and sounds like Kaae. Often get called in for Kai. We are a multi-cultural place, where I live had a strong Dutch community, a lot came out in the late 50's and 60's, and when they went back to Holland, they didn't even sound right, even thou they tried to preserve the language. Holland has changed but so has they, English and Maori words slipped into their every day speaking.

  22. #47
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    Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump (or which ever direction they go) is a place in Alberta Canada where the local Indians met and gathered their winter food. As the title suggests, they would build a run from that looked like a funnel from north of the cliffs. The funnel was made wide and directed the buffalo to a certain spot on the cliffs. The natives would then hunt for and direct the buffalo along the fields, getting help from more natives as the groups of buffalo advanced through the funnel. The buffalo would be in a panic by the time they got to the edge of the cliffs and would fall to their death. the natives would then work together to preserve the meat, then would take it home. Unfortunately, the head-smashed-in came from a younger native who wanted to know what it was like when the buffalo went over the bank, so he found a cave and got in it to watch the buffalo go over the cliff. You can imagine the rest. when the natives went to look for him, they found him, too late to save his life.
    I was there last year at this time. It is now an international historical site. It is very beautiful there, and is very well set up and preserved. It is south of Calgary and is not exactly on the main roads, but is well worth the trip. Since there is not much in the area, they do have a small restaurant. There are a lot of first nation materials for purchase and to look at. I was very impressed with the work that had been done to explain and preserve the site.... Again, well worth the cost and time spent there....

  23. #48
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    When a fast food employee speaks illegibly, I look them in the eye and politely say to them...."I have no idea what you just said to me". Interestingly, they are then able to speak oh so much clearly! I think that someone "my age" calling them on their bad habits hopefully has a positive impact. I do this on the phone, too, if needed. No apologies here!

    sandy
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  24. #49
    Super Member Arleners's Avatar
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    All those ogue ending mean by the water. My favorite is Happauge. (notice an a not an o) I call that town Jump the Pig


    Quote Originally Posted by lynnie View Post
    I live on Long Island, we are full of Indian names. More than half of the towns in Suffolk county are Indian names or derivatives thereof. I could list them all or some, but it would take for forever, and honestly, I'd probably spell some of them wrong. Patchouge, Nissaquogue, Quoge, Quowogue,Montauk,Massapequa,Nissaquogue,
    Are you seeing a theme here. the ougue ending. Sachem, Sequoia, Senecka Techumesa, Sewannaka,Samoset,Cyouga.
    Nuf said.
    Arlene

  25. #50
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    Canandauiga..A town in upstate NY. I use to work there.

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