Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Apr 23 20:07:40 UTC 2009

At 3:36 PM -0400 4/23/09, Michael McKernan wrote:
>  My father, who grew up in eastern Massachusetts (b.1924) often spoke
>of this lake, translating the name as:  "You fish on your side of the
>lake, we fish on our side of the lake, nobody fish in the middle of the
>lake."  Seems like it might be a more accurate translation than the
>seemingly literal one quoted below.
>  Michael McKernan

Yup, and it is so recorded in _The Book of
Amazing Facts_, which I grew up with.  (There was
also a town in Wales, complete with a railway
station, that had an even longer name, which I
can no longer recall if indeed I ever could.)


P.S.  I recall it as "You Fish On Your Side, We
Fish On Our Side, Nobody Fish in the Middle",
which always struck me as echt American Indian,
as we used to say.

>  Benson, Arizona Quoting Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>:
>>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>Sender:       American Dialect Society <aDS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
>>Subject:      Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
>>The longest place name in the United States, Lake
>>By Sarah Knapton    Last Updated: 12:10PM BST 22 Apr 2009
>>The lake in Webster, Massachusetts - known as Webster Lake for short
>>- was always going to be a challenge for sign writers. But after
>>researching historical spelling combinations, the local newspaper the
>>Telegram & Gazette of Worcester said local Chamber of Commerce
>>officials agreed that some some signs at the lake were wrong.  There
>>was an "o" at letter 20 where a "u" should have been, and an "h" at
>>letter 38 where an "n" should go.
>>The name comes from the language of the local Nipmuck tribe and
>>translates to "Englishmen at Manchaug at the fishing place at the
>>boundary although" and was applied in the 19th century when White
>>people built factories in the area.
>>The stretch of water has several alternative names is also shortened
>>to Lake Chaubunagungamaug to avoid the 45 letter tongue twister.
>>Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, the full-length
>>version of the name, is the longest place name in the United States
>>and 6th longest in the world. Its 17 uses of "g" are the most
>>instances of any letter in a word. The name also contains 10
>>instances of the letter "a" (not including the "a" in "lake"), more
>>than any word in the English language.
>>TZ – Note that there are three “awe” vowels in there.  Those
>>“awe-droppers” (who have dropped the phoneme “awe” and replace it
>>with “ah”) would not be saying this word right.  But then again, who
>>does.  Probably only Nipmucks.
>>How would that be spelled phonetically?
>>Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
>>Rediscover Hotmail®: Now available on your iPhone or BlackBerry
>>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

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