Posted by SMokey Stover on January 10, 2004
: : My "neck of the woods". Why is it a neck??
: Until someone else can provide a more complete and definitive answer, try this one. "Neck" was once a common geographical term, referring, I imagine, to some configuration resembling a neck. In the case of a woods, along the edges of the woods there might be several narrowing projections or salients, bulges or peninsulae of a sort. "My neck of the woods" would be one such bulge. However, I can't really explain such terms as "Penn's neck" or "Dutch neck," both of which refer to communities in my area. Today there is nothing neck-like about them; but perhaps there once was. (The next PF will give more and better information.) SS
Or you may prefer the definition in OED Online: neck n.1, 7b. orig U.S. A narrow stretch of wood, pastures, ice, etc. Now usually in neck of the woods: a settlement in wooded country, or a small or remotely situated community. . . in this neck of the woods: in the vicinity, around here .....