Hammock (Hummock)

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scw1217
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Hammock (Hummock)

Postby scw1217 » Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:05 pm

On a recent trip to a local nature preserve, we walked through the oak hammock. The brochure we picked up states this word derives from an Indian word. Upon an internet search, I find that hammock in this sense is actually an alteration of the word hummock and is listed as having an unknown origin, except for one site that states it could be Seminole Indian. I'd be interested to know the truth between the two words.

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Stargzer
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Postby Stargzer » Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:55 pm

As with real estate, in language it's location, location, location . . .

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:
hummock
"knoll, hillock," 1555, originally nautical, "conical small hill on a seacoast," of obscure origin, though second element is dim. suffix -ock. In Florida, where the local form is hammock, it means a clump of hardwood trees on a knoll in a swamp or on a key.


From the American Heritage Dictionary:
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

hummock

SYLLABICATION: hum·mock
PRONUNCIATION: hŭm'ək
NOUN: 1. A low mound or ridge of earth; a knoll. 2. also ham·mock ( hăm'ək) A tract of forested land that rises above an adjacent marsh in the southern United States. 3. A ridge or hill of ice in an ice field.
ETYMOLOGY: Origin unknown.
OTHER FORMS: hummock·y —ADJECTIVE
Regards//Larry

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gailr
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Postby gailr » Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:19 am


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scw1217
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Postby scw1217 » Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:55 am

Interesting. Being born and raised here in central Florida, I am quite familiar with the use of hammock, but had never known of hummock. All very interesting to me. I am still wondering about the Indian conotation, as I could only find one reference to that online.


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