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Thread: Are We Speaking English?

  1. #1
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    Are We Speaking English?

    I think about this from time to time, because I come from a place that is not an English word. The sounds of the places, things, and animals that we talk about are interesting to me. I'm just wondering, do you think about it too? ...And can you add to this list?

    Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon


    Seattle (a city in Washington State)
    Niagara (Falls in Western New York State)
    Massapequa (a town on Long Island, New York)
    Chattahoochee (a river running through Georgia)
    Winnipesaukee (a lake in New Hampshire)
    Nantucket (an island belonging to Massachusetts)
    Pawtucket (a city in Rhode Island)
    Saskatoon, Saskatewan and Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)

    Moose, Skunk, Chipmunk, Raccoon

    I really could go on for quite a while, but would have to look up each one individually.
    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.

  2. #2
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Years ago I lived in Wanaque, NJ. Wanaque is a word derived from the Lenni Lenape Native American word meaning "land of sassafras". And, yes, there were lots of sassafras trees in the area. FYI: The sassafras tree is distinctive in that it has 3 different leaves on each tree. One leaf is single oval orb, one leave looks like a mitten and one leaf has three 'fingers'. Right now I live in a totally English word town: Virginia Beach.

  3. #3
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    California, my home state.
    Last edited by lockesnest; 09-03-2014 at 04:54 AM. Reason: misspelling

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cactus Stitchin's Avatar
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    Willamette - river running through Portland, OR - named for the Willamette Indian Tribe. (Pronounced Will-am-ette not Willa-met-e).
    Multnomah County Oregon - named after a native Indian Tribe of the same name.

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltingeileen's Avatar
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    Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania

  6. #6
    Super Member Billi's Avatar
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    Cuyamaca, (a local community, and jr college, also street names) Spanish corruption of a kumeyaay (local native tribe) word meaning behind the clouds. I could not even come close to spelling that word Suomi will not try

    Jamacha also kumeyaay meaning wild gord (a smaller community and popular street names)

    El Cajon, city in so california is either the box or the drawer

    Mesa used in several names of cities Mesa AZ or La Mesa CA meaning table

    Los Angeles spansh started as a Spanish name that translated to" city of our-lady of the Anges" (do not remember the spanish name its very long) then it was shortened.

    The southwest is full of Spanish and native influence, Pennsylvania has a large German influence, Minnesota is Dakota Suioux name has a Norse and French influence in thier local names and words, I could go on forever.

    But its all part of our language we have taken names and words for many different languages and cultures but is that not the history of the English language to use and adopt words to suit the need.
    Billi
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

  7. #7
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    Yes, lots and lots of Spanish & native influence around here. California is named after a mythological Spanish warrior queen. One of my favorite places to vacation is called Gualala (pronounced "wah-la-la"); it's named due to its river, the name is derived from a Pomo Indian name that means something like "water coming down place".

    I think it's neat. In the US we don't really speak the Queen's English anyway, we have our own flavor of the language and since or society is known as the great melting pot I think it's totally appropriate that our language be a melting pot as well. 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

  8. #8
    Senior Member Trisher's Avatar
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    The country I live in is Canada. The city I live in is Winnipeg. The province is Manitoba. The neighbouring province is Saskatchewan. There is a city in Saskatchewan called Moose Jaw . Here is one that leaves nothing to the imagination: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta. Most of these names are taken from First Nations peoples/cultures.

  9. #9
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    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.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Ha, ha. i was going to say I don't think anyone speaks English anymore. At least not correctly. Oh well, all things change.

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    Dripping Springs, Tx. Rosebud Tx.

  12. #12
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    The one I can't forget it Buck Snort, TN.....pure English!
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.
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  13. #13
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I think American English has changed since the Revolution. The first settlers probably couldn't understand much of what we say now. Read a Jane Eye novel and you will realize how ugly we have changed a beautiful language.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  14. #14
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    Ohiopyle, Pa. The Youghiogheny River runs through it. Of course they are Indian names. Ohiopyle translates to frothing water which describes the river perfectly as it winds it's way through the town.

    This is an interesting thread. TFS
    peace

    EDIT: an earlier post refers to "First Nation" and I am all for that to remind myself that I am only a very small part of America, and not so much, the better part. Thanks for the reminder.
    peace
    Last edited by ube quilting; 09-03-2014 at 03:40 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  15. #15
    Super Member redquilter's Avatar
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    My home town is Flushing which is the English version of the Dutch name.

  16. #16
    Super Member AngeliaNR's Avatar
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    A town nearby is Bois d'Arc--French for "wood of the bow"--the Osage Indians made bows from a type of tree in the area.
    Courtesy is not optional.

    http://theeclecticabuela.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trisher View Post
    Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    Buck Snort, TN
    I really feel like there's GOTTA be a good story behind these names. Especially the first one, LOL

  18. #18
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    Its amazing what the ancestors thought of when naming things ..
    When Life brings big winds of change that almost blows you over.Hang on tight and Believe.
    Words and hearts should be handled with care-for words when spoken and hearts when broken are the hardest things to repair. Author unknown to me
    Do what you feel in your heart to be right; for you'll be criticized anyway-Eleanor Roosevelt

  19. #19
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    How about Oxlip, Minnesota?

    Edie
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  20. #20
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    Wisconsin is a Native American word, as are a lot of Wisconsin cities.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  21. #21
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    The word Massachusetts translates to "Large Hill Place". The Berkshires are no longer considered mountains as they have worn down with age. The town I grew up in is Rehoboth. That comes from the Bible, and means to make room. I have always liked knowing what things mean.
    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.

  22. #22
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    Mesquite, Texas named after the Mesquite tree with BIG thorns.
    Have a blessed day.

    Linda

  23. #23
    Junior Member colleen1978's Avatar
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    Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin (if you are a visitor, you can't tell that it's really two villages)...Named after the Sac Indians, the Native Americans living and farming here in the 1700s, the area is still known today as the Sauk Prairie. The English explorer Jonathon Carver declared the Sauk Indian village as the “largest and best built Indian town” he had ever seen. With the introduction of European immigrants, the twin villages developed their own identities. The southern village became Sauk City and is the oldest incorporated village in Wisconsin. It was founded by the colorful Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy who, in 1847, built what is today Wollersheim Winery before heading to California where he became the father of the California wineries.

    Winding your way north along the Wisconsin River, you’ll find the northern twin village of Prairie du Sac. This village kept its French fur trading name meaning “Prairie of the Sac Indians.” Prairie du Sac is home to many fine examples of turn-of-the-last-century architecture. The majestic homes along the tree-lined Park Avenue and Water Street take visitors back to early days along the river. Eagle Island in downtown Prairie du Sac is a one-of-a-kind location where Eagles roost each winter as they soar along the bluffs and dive head-long into the Wisconsin River.

  24. #24
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngeliaNR View Post
    A town nearby is Bois d'Arc--French for "wood of the bow"--the Osage Indians made bows from a type of tree in the area.

    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
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  25. #25
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    I think "cookie" is a derivative of a Dutch word. froggyintexas

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