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Fresh Kills

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 17, 2004

In Reply to: Fresh Kills posted by Lotg on June 16, 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.

: : I don't know how to describe this. Not ironic, but almost.
: : The bodies, debris and remains of the WTC on 9.11.01 were taken to Fresh Kills on Staten Island.

: Oh dear Bruce - that's unfortunate - and a tad freaky. Probably makes 'Peta' feel justified.

: BTW, thanks Brian for clarifying my mis-use of the town's name. Which I've been doing all along til now. (ie. not differentiating between the town and the region). But if they use beetroot for borscht I wonder why they don't also use it for salads, roasting, etc. Cos it's really yummy stuff. Either way, I loved Catskill (singular). In fact I loved New York state and that amazing drive down the Hudson River (the banks of which - which looked to me like prime real estate - in many areas appeared to me to be predominantly owned/monopolised by the Catholic Church).

Since the subjects of Tarrytown and of name changes have come up, may I point out that North Tarrytown has changed its name (and presumably all its stationery) to Sleepy Hollow, a place-name invented by Washington Irving, who populated it with the likes of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. May I also remark that beetroot is better-known to most Americans just as beets. (Beet leaves are often used for greens, but just "beets" is what we call beetroot.) A variety of beet grown in the Midwest can be processed to make "beet sugar," which costs a lot more to produce than sugar from cane (or from the Caribbean). The cost is irrelevant to the farmers, of course, because the crop is subsidized by the government, that is, the American taxpayers. SS