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Lake Chargog Ga What?

The sprawling lake with its even more sprawling name (we're only going to say it once)--Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg--is not for the tongue-tied. Some folks just call it Lake Webster, after the Massachusetts town where it's located. But the original and unabridged version holds the honor of being the longest place name in the United States. And what do all those syllables mean? In the 1920s, a local newspaper reporter wrote that the lake's name was a Nipmuc Indian word meaning, "You fish on your side, I fish on my side, and nobody fishes in the middle." That translation stuck, although the reporter later confessed that he made it up. But according to Paul Macek, a Webster historian, the word really means: "English knifemen and Nipmuc Indians at the boundary or neutral fishing place."
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Title Annotation:Americana
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Date:Feb 14, 2005
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