NYC is pretty straightforward when it comes to its neighborhood names, though once you head to Long Island that’s where things could potentially get a bit tricky. But wait ’til you hear this one–the place with longest name in the U.S., which also happens to be the third longest in the entire world, is a lake located in Massachusetts near the Connecticut border.
Located in Webster, Massachusetts, the name of the lake is 45 letters long and is actually a relaxing and tranquil spot for swimming, boating, kayaking and more–though pronouncing its name is definitely not relaxing, and is bound to make your brow furrow.
The name of the lake is, drumroll please…Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.
Try saying this one five times fast!
Thankfully, today the lake is just referred to as Lake Webster, which, we’d say, is just a bit easier to pronounce.
The name comes from Loup–an Algonquian language.
According to anthropologist Ives Goddard, the lake appeared for the first time on maps in 1831 with the name Chargoggagoggmanchoggagogg Pond, however, this name was’t exactly accurate.
Earliest records, such as in The Times Atlas of the World, show the body of water was actually originally known as Chabunagungamaug Pond (with slight spelling variations), though the cartographer who put the lake on the map for the first time not only spelt the original name wrong, but also confused it with a pond in the same area, named Manchaug Pond, according to Goddard.
The original name of Chabunagungamaug means “lake divided by islands,” which, according to Goddard, fits the geographical facts exactly. Though when settlers began using the lake as a fishing and meeting spot, the name expanded to Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, meaning “English knifemen and Nipmuck Indians at the boundary or neutral fishing place.”
The New England spot features lapping shorelines, summer cottages, and serves as a great recluse from the hustle and bustle of NYC, so while it has the longest name in the U.S. and you may not be able to pronounce it, it’s definitely worth a visit!