General Question

andrew's avatar

Where did the phrase "neck of the woods" come from?

Asked by andrew (16358points) July 3rd, 2007

And are there more anthropomorphized terms for natural features?

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8 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Arm of the sea, Mother Nature's bosom, shoulder of the road, teeth of the storm, eye of the hurricane, spit (?) of land, a mountain in the Adirondack 46's called "Nippletop, " and many other mts. with names suggestive of their silhouettes...figurative speech in most cases. Originally, "neck of the woods" meant a narrow woodland and then got expanded.

andrew's avatar

So where did "You're from my next of the woods" come from?

gailcalled's avatar

The language always evolves and generally gets less specific, more debased or whatever you want to call it. "Neck ...." now means "my neighborhood" or "near me." As I said, the original meaning stretched...Al Roker uses it for his morning weather reports when he switches from the national to the local stations. He said it was a tribute to his grandfather, who used the phrase. Source was Wikipedia, I think. My memory is a sieve these days :-d

hossman's avatar

My favorite anthropomorphized geographical term is a town by the name of "French Lick," Ohio, I believe. If I lived there, I would have to giggle everytime I filled out a return address.

gailcalled's avatar

Almost, but not quite as good is Intercourse, PA, an Amish community. And the Grand Tetons is worth a hoot.

gooch's avatar

@ gailcalled down the road from Intercourse, PA is a town called Bird-in-Bush, PA I have been to both. And I love the Grand Tetons in WY they are beautiful.

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