Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dane County Place-Names: Halunkenburg

We often sing the praises of the late great Frederic Cassidy here, the founder of the Dictionary of American Regional English. Among of his many other remarkable projects was a book called Dane County Place-Names. It was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 1968, which in turn grew from a paper from 1947 in American Speech. The book is still in print and readily available. Here's a random tidbit:

Northwestern Dane County was an area of contact, and sometimes conflict, between Anglo and other English-speaking Americans and German immigrants. Springfield Corners was apparently famous, according to Cassidy, as home to "a group of rough and spendthrift farmers who did much drinking and fighting", to the extent that the neighboring German populations came to call the place Halunkenburg, "Louts' town".

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