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This 'Peta' thinks they're wankers & what about Catskills

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on June 15, 2004

In Reply to: This 'Peta' thinks they're wankers & what about Catskills posted by Lotg on June 15, 2004

: : : : : : : : : : : I have just returned from a trip where I passed many places with names such as "Fishkill", "Wallkill", "Peekskill" and "Beaverkill" It brought to mind "Shankill" as in the "Shankill" Road in Ireland. Does anyone know if it has a particular meaning?

: : : : : : : : : : : Word Camel...
: : : : : : : : : : : Who is knackered but didn't want to forget to ask.

: : : : : : : : : : I grew up in Tarrytown New York, so you must have passed right by. Hope you had a good visit.
: : : : : : : : : : This is old Dutch country, and the suffix kill comes from the Old Dutch word 'kille' meaning riverbed or channel. When you see a xkill in New York it will be on or close to some body of water.

: : : : : : : : : Thanks. I was indeed in a traffic jam in Tarry town not three hours ago. :)

: : : : : : : : In the Gaelic languages, 'kill' is an anglicisation of 'cill' meaning 'church.' Similarly, 'shan' comes from the Gaelic word 'sean' meaning 'old.' So, Shankill = old church.

: : : : : : :
: : : : : : : Love placename origins and spotting similarities.

: : : : : : : 'kill' like 'kirk's. germanic origin 'kirk' for 'church' along with 'minster' a big church or cathedral. 'cathedral' from 'cedera' (or sedera?)(L'tin for) seat, like Welsh 'caer'. Seat similar to 'See' = bishopric.

: : : : : : : similar sound to - cill, kirk, church, cedera, caer, cathedral.

: : : : : : Interesting, which confirms the Dutch origin of these places "Beaver church"? I don't think so *grin*

: : : : : : Camel
: : : : : : Who is just about resisting the urge to make a joke about shelags (which I'm misspelling - sorry)

: : : : : She lags the energy.

: : : : I've heard of beaver hunting, but worshipping them?
: : : : it's a long way from noting "Nice beaver" to erecting a spire to them.

: : : A few years ago PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) attempted to prevail upon the town of Fishkill, New York, to change their name because it didn't sound very nice to them. When the Fishkill town fathers explained that the name simply means "fish stream" in Dutch, PeTA's response was something like "Yeah, but it still doesn't sound nice, so change it anyway!"

: : PeTa are a Pita.

: : Anyway, let me just *wince* here. I knew it was a potentially embarrasing thread but sheesh... Lewis - I just don't know what to say.

: Considering my first name is one of those double-barrel jobbies that happens to start with 'Peta', I'm embarrassed at the chronic stupidity of those people wanting to change the name of that town.

: We have similar issues here for different, but equally stupid reasons. Frankly, even if a name does mean something that might now be unpalatable or politically incorrect, it probably didn't when it was originally named. Surely we can leave history alone and accept it's historical significance and context???

: Anyway, on the whole 'kill' subject, is Catskills so-named for a similar reason? ie. Dutch heritage, and does the 'kill' bit mean the same thing? And if so, why is there an 's' on the end? BTW - I had the best steak in Catskills - went to a diner and asked for a steak sandwich with tomato, onion & beetroot and they had no idea what I was talking about. So I explained. They couldn't deliver the beetroot, but substituted cheese - which I accepted as long as the cheese wasn't that hideous orange colour that you Yanks seem to love. Result - magnificent steak sandwich!!! Completely pointless trivia, but a fond memory.

There's an "s" on the end of Catskills because it's plural. It's usually "the Catskills", the local name for that section of the Appalachian Mountains in lower upstate New York. There's also a town called Catskill, which is singular. Now as for extremist animal rights groups, well, it's possible they prefer to think of it as "cat-skills", but even that usually involves the killing of small critters.

And of course "beetroot" is virtually unknown here in the middle third of the North American continent, but when in the Catskills you can always order "borscht", which is a beet soup, and which also gives the region its other name, "the Borscht Belt". That name comes from the predominantly Jewish resort hotels that still draw many vacationers from the New York City area. Before the proliferation of comedy clubs in just about every city, many if not most famous American comedians got their start in the Borscht Belt, also called the "Borscht Circuit" in the business.

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