Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Search Challenge (June 23, 2010) - Pennsylvania River Names?

Last week I was driving through Pennsylvania, crossing the state when I noticed something interesting and odd--many of the streams and rivers seem to end in -kill.  Consider... the Fishkill River, the Schuylkill River and so on.  

So I naturally started wondering--Why are PA rivers given names like that?  Were there a succession of "kills" of various kinds of fish (a la "Fishkill"), or is it something else? 

It's a good search problem.  Not terribly hard, methinks, but an interesting one.  

How would you solve this search problem?  Why such odd names?  

Search on! 


  1. I searched for "suffix kill" (no quotes) and found references to kill and Dutch. You said you were in Pennsylvania which has a large Dutch heritage. The suffix -kill or -kil in Dutch means either waterway or river as found in the examples here

  2. the "kill" in these river names is Netherlands Dutch, not to be confused with PA Dutch.

  3. Just an added note - even though you included -kill in your blog post, you can't include the minus sign in your search on Google. The minus sign will remove the word from your search in Google. :-)

  4. Excellent!

    You're right... you can NOT include the minus sign in your search, as it will exclude those results!

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