Are We Speaking English?

Old 09-03-2014, 03:19 AM
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Default 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.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:40 AM
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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.
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Old 09-03-2014, 04:53 AM
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California, my home state.

Last edited by lockesnest; 09-03-2014 at 04:54 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:10 AM
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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.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:16 AM
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Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:34 AM
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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.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:49 AM
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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
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:00 AM
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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.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:04 AM
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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.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:34 AM
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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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