Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

No that isn't gobbledygook - that is an actual word.

In fact, Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg is the longest place name in the United States. I learned about this locale the other night while reading River-Horse, by William Least Heat-Moon, who is also author of the highly acclaimed Blue Highways. River-Horse is about Least Heat-Moon's crossing of America by boat. Along his journey he discusses this lake near the town of Webster, Massachusetts.

The 45 letter name is the longest place name in the United States and 6th longest in the world.

It's an Algonquian word that approximately means "Englishmen at Manchaug at the fishing place at the boundary" and was applied in the 19th century when white Europeans built factories in the area.

Today most people use the more common name, Webster Lake. However, the official website of the town of Webster considers the longer version correct.
O.K., so that's your geography lesson for the day.... I never heard of the place and I just thought that it was pretty interesting....


Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always heard that it meant "You fish on your side, I fish on my side, and nobody fishes in the middle"
(I guess I believe anything)