PDA

View Full Version : English Kills - Whassupwiddat?



NYR2B
March 3rd, 2004, 09:47 AM
While looking at a map of New York City, I spied a waterway called "English Kills" that's on the Brooklyn/Queens border.

Being an adult ESL teacher, I take offense!

Can anyone explain why it's called that and not "English River" or "English Tributary" or "English Stream"?

I saw somewhere else around the NYC area there's a "Dutch Kills," so it's not only English that's fatal to learn.

Jerry Lee Lewis, can you explain? :roll: 8)

NYR2B
March 3rd, 2004, 09:50 AM
Here's proof I am not making this up:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bridges/bridges/met.html

TLOZ Link5
March 3rd, 2004, 12:29 PM
"Kills" is a Dutch word for "river" or "creek."

dbhstockton
March 4th, 2004, 12:09 AM
Yep, there's Fresh Kills, Authur Kill, Kill van Kull. It all sounds so strange, adding to the singular mystique of Gotham. Did you ever wonder what a Knickerbocker was, besides one of the weirdest franchise names in sports?

billyblancoNYC
March 4th, 2004, 12:24 AM
There's also Great Kills on Staten Island.

Knickerbocker:

A) A descendant of the Dutch settlers of New York.
B) A native or inhabitant of New York.

C) knickerbockers: Full breeches gathered and banded just below the knee; knickers.

NYatKNIGHT
March 4th, 2004, 09:50 AM
But originally, Washington Irving invented the Knickerbockers in 1809 in his comic history of the Dutch regime in New York, A HISTORY OF NEW YORK, by the imaginary 'Diedrich Knickerbocker'. Only later did Dutch descendants and other inhabitants take on the moniker.

There are so many place names, labels and words that come from the Dutch, too many to mention, from New York to Albany all through the Hudson Valley.

ZippyTheChimp
March 4th, 2004, 10:56 AM
More Dutch watery names:

Hell Gate: It was once hell getting through the narrow passage, but the name derived from the Dutch Helegat, or Bright Passage. The exposed rocks and rapids made it one of the best spots for stripped bass fishing. If you wanted to take the short route through the LI Sound to Boston, you had to pass through the Hell Gate. The many obstacles had colorful names, such as Frying Pan, Bread & Cheese, Hen & Chickens, Negro Head, and Bald Headed Billy. Two famous disasters were the British ship Hussar in 1780, and the General Slocum in 1904.

Spuyten Duyvil: Dutch for In Spite of the Devil.
Folklore (http://www.americanfolklore.net/folktales/ny.html)

Eugenius
March 4th, 2004, 12:57 PM
But originally, Washington Irving invented the Knickerbockers in 1809 in his comic history of the Dutch regime in New York, A HISTORY OF NEW YORK, by the imaginary 'Diedrich Knickerbocker'. Only later did Dutch descendants and other inhabitants take on the moniker.

There are so many place names, labels and words that come from the Dutch, too many to mention, from New York to Albany all through the Hudson Valley.I believe the term literally means "someone who nods over books" :wink:

NYR2B
March 5th, 2004, 10:49 AM
"Kills" is a Dutch word for "river" or "creek."

Thanks TLOZ Link5! I kinda figured it out from this neat Astoria, Queens website (Greater AStoria Historical Society) which has a slide shows of
Dutch Kills and neighborhoods:

http://www.astorialic.org/photo/dutchkills/dutchkills_index.shtm

"This community, one of the first European settlements in Queens, started from Dutch land grants along an arm of Newtown Creek (Dutch: Newtown Kills). Today, it is a vibrant neighborhood north of Queenboro Plaza maintaining a 350 year tradition." So like you said Kills = Creek.

I was wondering about Catskills (should it be Cats Kills?) (stupid pet tricks or Cat Skills?). On second thought,fuhgeddaboudit.

Peace 8)

ZippyTheChimp
March 5th, 2004, 11:03 AM
Catskill FAQ (http://www.catskillguide.com/faq.htm)

NYR2B
March 8th, 2004, 04:30 AM
tx zippy catsgotmytongue.

Rob
March 8th, 2004, 10:47 AM
I'm Dutch and to be onnest... I don't know the dutch word Kill :?

TLOZ Link5
March 8th, 2004, 12:42 PM
Old Dutch, perhaps? The name is prevalent in many areas of New York State originally settled by the Dutch.

WiSiSo
August 22nd, 2006, 10:21 AM
I'm Dutch and to be onnest... I don't know the dutch word Kill :?

The word kill (or kil in Dutch) is still used in a maritime context, but it’s not a common word. From the online Dutch dictionary (http://www.vandale.nl/opzoeken/woordenboek/?zoekwoord=Kil) the explanation for the word kil is:

kil (de ~, ~len)
1 geul tussen twee zandbanken of hoogten
2 langwerpige, zeer diepe plaats in zee, oceaantrog => trog

And now I probably have to translate this also for the non dutch readers...

1 channel between two sand-banks or shallows (? un-deep places in the sea)
2 elongated, very deep place in the sea, oceantrench => trench

I'm not sure if it's still used in this context in New York.

Regards, Wim