Do you have trouble spelling Massachusetts? You’re not alone. Would you have trouble spelling, or even pronouncing, Webster Lake in Massachusetts? Yes, unless you’re a trivia expert who’s practiced it, a local who likes to confuse travelers, or a speaker of the native Algonquin language.
That’s because it has an alternate name. While it is known to many as Webster Lake, that is because it is near the town of Webster. The official name is Lake Chaubunagungamaug.
That’s a mouthful. It’s difficult enough to make people think that perhaps it should have an alternate name, which is what happened in 1921, when the local newspaper editor created it.
“Webster Lake” isn’t the alternate name, though; that’s still just a nickname. The new name was Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. It translates in Nipmuc tongue as “Fishing place at the boundaries, and neutral meeting grounds”.
Naturally, someone stepped up to write a folk song about it.
At least it’s less likely to get stuck in your head than that Baby Shark song.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite water activity memory?