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Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

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Published on Apr 29, 2009

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lake Chaubunagungamaug (pronounced /tʃəˌbʌnəˈɡʌŋɡəmɑːɡ/), also known as Webster Lake, is a lake in the town of Webster, Massachusetts, United States. It is located near the Connecticut border and has a surface area of 1,442 acres (5.83 km²). The translation of the name of the lake is believed to be, "Fishing Place at the Boundaries -- Neutral Meeting Grounds".[1] This is different from the translation, "You fish on your side, I fish on my side, and nobody fish in the middle", a hoax believed to have been concocted by the late Laurence J. Daly, a Worcester newspaper correspondent.

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg (/ˌleɪk tʃəˈɡɑːɡəɡɑːɡ ˌmænˈtʃɑːɡəɡɑːɡ tʃəˌbʌnəˈɡʌŋɡəmɑːɡ/[1][2]), a 45-letter alternative name for this body of water, is often cited as the longest place name in the United States and one of the longest in the world. Today, "Webster Lake" may be the name most used, but some (including many residents of Webster), take pride in reeling off the longer versions.

This lake has several alternative names. Lake Chaubunagungamaug is the name of the lake as recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior,[3] however, many area residents, as well as the official website of the town of Webster, consider the longer version correct.[4]

The name comes from the language of the local Nipmuc people. The lake was an important fishing spot on the borders of several tribal territories and lay at the nexus of many local paths of the Great Trail system. For these reasons the lake was often used as a meeting place.

Algonquian-speaking peoples had several different names for the lake as recorded on old maps and historical records. However, all of these were similar in part and had almost the same translation. Among other early names were "Chabanaguncamogue" and "Chaubanagogum".[5] Early town records show the name as "Chabunagungamaug Pond", also the name of the local Nipmuc town (recorded in 1668 and 1674 with somewhat different spellings). This has been translated as 'boundary fishing place',[6] but something close to "fishing place at the boundary" or "that which is a divided island lake" may be more accurate.[7]

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