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Creeks vs. Brooks

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).

Creeks vs. Brooks

Postby countryparson » Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:32 pm

From a newcomer to the Board: I've long been curious as to why streams are called "creeks" in some parts of the Northeast and "brooks" in others. There seems to be no consistency as to the usages. It's "creek" in New York, "brook" in most of New England, and either "creek" or "brook" in the Canadian Maritimes. "Brook" has its etymological roots in Old English, "creek" in Middle English. Webster's New Collegiate indicates that they pretty much mean the same thing.

Any insights?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:10 pm

If a rose went by any other name, would Dawson's Brook have been so successful as Dawson's Creek was?

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Postby KatyBr » Sun Feb 19, 2006 9:13 pm

That's crik to you bubba......!

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creeks vs brooks

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:11 am

Do you realize how many names we have in English for waterways? I made a list of those I knew one time but I misplaced it. The list was quite long. There is reputed to be a waterway in Oklahoma named Spring Creek Brook River, it being the river into which Spring Creek Brook emptied and Spring Creek Brook being the continuation of a waterway called Spring Creek. I don't know if this is true but it sounds good.

I might make this waterway list again. Is anyone is interested? E-mail me at hudsonpw@ev1.com if you would like to contribute or to see the results. It would be too long for this forum.

I believe that in England a creek is what we would call an ocean cove or a small secluded bay. Such a waterway was just the thing for smugglers on the Cornish coast. Daphnie deM(something) wrote a book called "Frenchman's Creek."

Did you know that a kennel was once a waterway? It was more like a drainage ditch or an open sewer in English towns.

I grew up at the confluence of the Nueces, the Frio and the Atescosa rivers in South Texas. Nueces means pecan, frio means cold and I am told that atescosa means something like bog or mud hole. I am not sure if these are all Spanish words. Spanish and Indian words get mixed up in South Texas.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:59 pm

Atascosa.

Nueces actually refers to any kind of nuts, not only pecans.

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Postby mchugh » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:01 pm

actually there is a difference between creeks and cricks....cricks are like creeks, but not as waterfull.
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Postby Scooter1 » Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:40 pm

How about "branch"?
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Branch?

Postby Mama » Thu May 11, 2006 8:18 am

As in, the river branches out from there? Or the left branch of the creek? Actually, I would say the left FORK of the creek. In Pittsburgh, it's crick. My sister-in law asked me if a crick was a creek, then do you have a creek in your neck? Of course she was only ten or eleven at the time.
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Postby Perry » Thu May 11, 2006 3:42 pm

Scooter1 wrote:How about "branch"?


Perhaps as in, "I'll have a whiskey and branch water".
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Branch Water

Postby Mama » Thu May 11, 2006 4:32 pm

Ewwww....
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Postby gailr » Thu May 11, 2006 8:18 pm

Ewwww to the whiskey, ewwww to diluting perfectly good whiskey with water, or ewwww to using spring (as opposed to tap--or even fancy schmancy brands marketed as highbrow imports but actually derived from the local bottling plant's taps!) water? :?
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Eww..

Postby Mama » Thu May 11, 2006 8:51 pm

Ewww to drinking something called branch water.
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Postby j.kipper » Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:47 pm

When I was little and visited my Grandmother in Missouri (when we lived outside the state), she called it 'crick'. I always thought 'crick' meant a different body of water and was spelled differently until she spelled it 'creek'. In Kansas City everyone understands 'crick' but would not call it anything but a creek.
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