What’s the Deal With the Geography Behind the Names of These Massachusetts Towns?
Massachusetts has some interesting names throughout the state. There are some that people don't know how to pronounce. There are some that don't make sense based on their geographic location within the state. And there are also lots of towns within the state that end in 'ham', but some of them sound like they end in 'um'. If you are still wondering what is meant by any of that, then let's explore further.
Prior to moving to the Berkshires this past year, I always wondered why 'Berkshires' sounds a lot more like 'Burk-shurs'. I don't think anyone has really ever actually explained it to me, I just kind of went with it. But the rest of all these others really make sense to me after that. I didn't necessarily need to see a TikTok video that explores a lot of this, but it definitely shows why it has been a thing here in the Bay State.
Jeremy Honig made a TikTok video that calls out certain towns around Massachusetts for why they are given their name and it is pretty spot on. Check it out...
If you have been wondering the same thing, then obviously, you're not alone. Unfortunately, it doesn't necessarily explain why any of this came to be, but at least there are others that questions the validity of these town names.
And those town names that end in -ham. There are 19 towns in Massachusetts that end in -ham and we're supposed to pronounce everyone of those correct the first time? It reminds me of what the great 'Billy Madison' said when he entered the 3rd grade:
Man, I'm so nervous. I mean, 1st and 2nd grade were easy, but...Social Studies? Division? This is gonna be tough!
I'm always trying to figure out why some places in Massachusetts get their name and just how to pronounce them. But at least I know that since moving here, when asking a question about a town, I'm glad I'm not the only person dreading this response to said question:
Luckily, Massachusetts residents seem to be very kind when I've asked about certain locations around the state, or how to pronounce a town name. So, as someone who grew up in the Midwest (St. Louis, MO), I'm glad that I've run into some kind Bay State natives that have helped me make sense out of certain locations throughout the state. I've definitely needed the help!