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The Name Ronkonkoma
Q: I was wondering if you would be able to tell me the
correct pronunciation of
the town Ronkonkoma which is located on Long Island,
NY. Thank you for any
help you can give me.
A: Hello, thanks for writing. "Ronkonkoma" is not an
Indian word, it is an American corruption of an
Algonquian Indian name
(from the Mohegan-Shinnecock language, which no longer has native speakers.)
We don't even know what the original name was anymore. Some have suggested it came
from an Algonquian Indian name meaning "boundary fishing
place," others that it came from a different
Algonquian name meaning "wild goose place." Since we
don't know what the original name was, the question
will probably never be answered. The
original name could have been Rangankomack, or it
could have been Ronkahonkomack, or it could have been
something else entirely.
Since we do not know what the town's original name was in the Mohegan
language, we do not know how it was originally pronounced.
Today, the town's name is pronounced ron-kon-kuh-muh, with the
accent on the second syllable.
Hope that helps!
Native Languages of the Americas
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