Fire & Hemlock Revisited (or maybe not...)

Nat Case ncase at
Tue Jan 23 16:18:35 EST 2001

>Here's some for your enunciation pleasure from where I grew up: 
>Monongahela, Allegheny, Punxatawney, Youghiogheny, Ligonier, 
>Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Cuyahoga.  Iroquois is a favorite of mine 
>as well.

from up our way in Minnesota:
Menominee, Winnebigoshish, Ontonagon, Oconomowoc, Kandiyohi, and the 
old name for Lake Superior: Gitchi-Gummi

I'm also very fond of New England Indian place names: Androscoggin, 
Penobscot, Winnipesaukee, Kancamagus, and my favorite, Woonsocket.

Near my late grandparents' house in NW Connecticut are lakes 
Waramaug, Shepaug and Lillinonah. And now I live near the immortal 
Minnehaha falls and Lake Minnetonka.

One of the bits I liked about Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker books 
was the rephrasing of (to American ears) familiar place names to 
emphasize their Indian origin: Potty-mack for the Potomac River, 
Irrakwa for Iroquois, etc. Made you step back a moment and think.


Does Australia also have the pronunciation and spelling shifts that 
have happened her in the US? I was looking at Swanzey (Swansea, 
presumably), New Hampshire just now, and there's a long line of 
mangled French place names:

Calais, Maine (pronounced like "Callous")
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin ("Prairie da Sheen")
The twin towns of Montpelier and Barre, Vermont (rhymes with "aunt 
peel yer" and "Larry")
and on and on...

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