Does Chesapeake mean “great shellfish bay”?

June 25, 2009
Captain Chesapeake

Captain Chesapeake

“Chesapeake” is a Susquehanock word meaning “great shellfish bay.” Undoubtedly native peoples led European settlers to some of the best places to catch crabs. Early treaties always included provisions for the rights of Native Americans for “Hunting, Crabbing, Fowling, and Fishing.”

From http://www.skipjack.net/le_shore/crab/history.htm

The word Chesepiooc is an Algonquian word referring to a village “at a big river.” It is the seventh oldest surviving English place-name in the U.S., first applied as “Chesepiook” by explorers heading north from the Roanoke Colony into a Chesapeake tributary in 1585 or 1586.[2] In 2005, Algonquian linguist Blair Rudes “helped to dispel one of the area’s most widely held beliefs: that ‘Chesapeake’ means something like ‘Great Shellfish Bay.’ It doesn’t, Rudes said. The name might actually mean something like ‘Great Water,’ or it might have been just a village at the bay’s mouth.”

From Wikipedia


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