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Springs snapshot

Bonackers' Pride


Bonackers descend from East Hampton's first white settlers, hardy souls who first landed, as lore tells it, at Accabonac Harbor. The harbor's name derives from an Algonquin word for ''root place,'' perhaps somewhere wild potatoes grew, and the community became known as Bonac.


Tradition puts Bonac ''b'low the bridge,'' the train trestle over Accabonac Highway, which runs north from the Village of East Hampton to Springs, the point of origin for the clannish group that eventually spread across much of the Town of East Hampton.


To the Bonackers' Pride, Their Dialect Lives On

“The Bonac community, invested in fishing for centuries, has seen its cultural identity diluted over the years, along with its distinctive dialect”, said Maryam Bakht-Rofheart, a longtime Amagansett resident and a doctoral candidate in linguistics at New York University.


Bonac words and expressions:

B'LOW THE BRIDGE: Refers to the Bonac section of the Town of East Hampton, north of the railroad trestle over Accabonac Highway.

AWAY: Any place other than Bonac, as in ''He's from away.''

BUB: Similar to ''buddy'' or ''pal.''

YES-YES, BUB: To agree with someone or to emphasize what you've just said.

TO GO UPSTREET: To go downtown.

I WOULDN'T GET INSIDE 10 CLAM RAKES OF YOU: ''I wouldn't touch you -- or that -- with a 10-foot pole.''

FINEST KIND: Pretty darn good, as in ''That boat's finest kind.''

UPISLAND: Anywhere west of the Shinnecock Canal.

SOME: Very, as in ''It's some cold today.''

A GET-IN, GET-OUT: A fast trip.

CLAM THE TIDE OUT: To be one of the last to leave a party or meeting.

DREEN: A stream, a variant of drain.

IT'LL DRINK, IT'LL EAT: To be drinkable or edible.

SKIP: No food, as in 'I had skip for lunch.'''




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