This town we love was first settled by the Iroquis and Alaconquin tribes, and later (1625) was invaded by Dutch members of the West India Trading Company — businessmen! Isn’t that soooo New York?
Our town was called New Amsterdam until the English took over and re-named it New York. Here is a list of words you’ve seen around town and might not have known that they mean something in Dutch.
Brooklyn: Anglicized version of the named of the municipality Breuckelen in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Bronx: The area was once owned by farmer Jonas Bronck, and locals called it “Bronck’s land.”
Bushwick: Comes from “Boswijk” which means “town of woods.”
Coney Island: Coney is an anglicized version of conijn which means rabbit.
Fordham: Houses by the ford. Ford means a wading place.
Flatbush: A corruption of vladbos which means a wooded land.
Click to read more Dutch words.
Flushing: Comes from the Dutch town of Vlissingen, which means “salt meadow.”
Gravesend: Means at the end of a grove and is pronounced Graves-end
Hell’s Gate: The Dutch explorer Adrian Block called this part of the East River “Helegat” meaning “bright passage.” But it also has whirlpools and dangerous rocks, so the English version of the name “Hell’s Gate” stuck.
Saint Nicholas: The patron saint of the city of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Spuyten Duyvil: Means Devils Spout and is pronounced Spy-ten Die-vil.
Stuyvesant: The name of the last appointed Director-General of New Masterdam and is pronounced Sty-va-sant.
Turtle Bay: Some historians think it is a corruption of the Dutch word “deutal” meaning a bent blade, which was used to describe the shape of the bay that used to be there.
Utrecht: It is the 4th largest city in The Netherlands. (There is a New Utrecht in Brooklyn.)
Zee: Wide expanse of water.
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