Old Dutch Place Names
and their English Equivalents

From an article in the The Examiner - Centennial Edition
Thursday, August 14, 1930

County Abounds in Old Dutch Nomenclature

Transcribed by Sylvia Hasenkopf

Many of our old Dutch and Indian names have been sadly misunderstood and corrupted by the Yankee settlers. The following facts are historically correct.

Potick means a “water fall”. Applied originally to the rapids in the Cats Kill near Wolcott Mills, it became the name of the Indian village below there, then of the commanding hill on its north, and finally of the brook.

Hannacroi (this name has no final x) is from the Dutch Haanekrai Kill or “cock-crow creek,” at one time mistaken for Hannah Craw’s Creek.

Coxsackie ((pronounced coke-sah-key) originally spelled Koxhackung and Koixhacking, has been interpreted at “hoot-owl place.”

Kalkberg or Kaleberg (pronounced Cahlabarrack) means “lime mountain” and refers to the limestone ridge from West Camp to the “High Rocks” west of New Baltimore, under which ran the old Indian Footpath. It has been twisted into Collarback by the unknowing!

Plaatje (Plahchy) means a “little flat”, and applies to a muddy island in mid-river off Catskill.

Catskill is the “wild-cats creek” and was applied by the Dutch to the stream only. As kill means creek, the name Catskill “creek” is redundant.

Bakoven (pronounced bockofen and sometimes found spelled Bockover) means “bake-oven” and was applied to the rounded clay knolls beyond the Webber Bridge which resemble Dutch ovens.

Kaaterskill or Caterskill (correctly pronounced kahter, no cauter) means “he-cat” or “big cat” (i.e. panther) creek.

The correct name for the mountains of Greene County is the Dutch Katsberg (pronounced kahtzbarrack), “wildcat mountain,” or the Indian Onteora, “hills of the sky.”

Hoogeberg (pronounced  hohg-a-barrack) is the true name for the Mount Potick range and means “high Hill.” Helderberg means “hero hill”.

Schoharie is an Indian name meaning “flood wood.”

Dirck’s Kiltje is “Derrick’s brook”, corrupted on some maps to Dorecsillitay!

Barent’s (or Baeren) Island, just north of the county line, was named for Barent Pietersen Coeymans, who acquired a patent to extensive lands in both counties. The corrupt form Barren Island has never been appropriate to this lovely spot.

Nutten Hook (pronounced nooten, and now mistakenly spelled Newton Hook!) is “nut-tree point,” opposite Coxsackie.

Imbocht or Embought (commonly pronounced imbuf) was D’Groote Imbogt or “great embayment” of the Hudson below Van Orden’s Point.

Jan de Bakker’s Kill (pronounced yon-de-bocker) means “John the baker’s creek” and refers to a drunken half-breed who lived near its mouth. Corrupted to Vondubock on some maps!

Valje Kiltje means “little falls brook.” On some maps as Yolities Kelitie “Creek”!

Hans Vosen Kill means “John Fox’s creek” and refers to Hans Vos, an early inhabitant. The o is correctly pronounced with long sound, not like ah.

Quatawichnaach is Indian for “place where water goes in a hole;” it is at the site of the former covered bridge on the road to High Falls.

Kiskatom was Kiskatominakaukee, “place of shag-bark hickories.”

Bowery Creek is from the Dutch bouwerie, a “farm”.

Corlaer’s Kill is for Arendt van Corlaer or van Curler, an Indian agent of the Dutch government at Albany and Schenectady.

Platte Kill (pronounced plattaykill) is Dutch for “flat creek” referring to the long level stretch near its lower end.

Hopenose (hop-a-nose) is a much disputed name probably of Indian origin, like Nippenose and Kokeose in Pennsylvania, but its meaning has been forgotten. One theory has woven an elaborate Indian yarn about the name, and another derives it from hypothenuse!

Vly or Fly is the Dutch vlaie, a “swamp”. It applied also to creeks and mountains in the vicinity.

Clove, the Dutch name for our deep mountain valleys, perhaps correctly kloof, means a “cleft”.

Katsbaan (pronounced  kahtxbahn) is “cats’ground” (ie: haunt), because of their lairs in the woods under the rocky ridge.

Saugerties is from the Dutch Saugerje’s Kill or “little sawyer’s creek.”

Klinkenberg is said to mean “echo hill.” It overlooks Four-mile Point.

Myne Berg (pronounced my-nay-barrack) is the old Indian “flint-mine hill”, southwest of Coxsackie.

Streeke (pronounced stray-ke) is from the Dutch, “a strip” (of land), and is applied to the intermittent lake or meadow on the Kalkberg west of the red schoolhouse.

Kykuit (pronounced cake-out) means a “lookout” for which it served during the early years.

Fuyk (pronounced fyke) is a Dutch fishnet of conical form, and is given to a v-shaped valley west of the Quarry Hill “high rocks”; now the Moon farm.

Diepe Hoek is supposed to be the right spelling, meaning “deep (water) point.”

 Home            Table of Contents