Like “orthopaedic”/”orthopedic”, Throgs Neck in the Bronx can be spelled differently depending on where you’re from.

The neighborhood in the southeast Bronx was named for a very early British settler, John Throckmorton, who arrived in the peninsula now capped by Fort Schuyler and the State University of New York Maritime College in 1642. Throckmorton had had religious differences with the rigid Puritans of New England, moved to Rhode Island with its founder, Roger Williams in 1636, and later decamped to the Bronx because he may have feared that Massachusetts would invade the tiny colony. Both Thomas Pell (who is remembered by the various place names “Pelham”) and Throckmorton had to pledge allegiance to the Dutch before being granted permission to settle. Throckmorton later fled Native American aggression and wound up in Rhode Island again, and later, New Jersey.

The peninsula, or “neck” (cf. Little Neck in Queens) was bestowed an abbreviation of his lengthy name and Throgmorton Avenue, also a tribute, is a variant spelling. Throgs Neck is also occasionally spelled with a double g. The explanation for all this may lie in the fact that in the early days of printing (which in Throckmorton’s day had been an industry for only about a century and a half) spellings were hardly standardized, and wouldn’t be until the days of Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster. However Throgs Neck is spelled, it is a peaceful, tranquil area with a couple of private communities that enjoy terrific views of the water-filled surroundings.

As a rule of thumb, Throg(g)s Neck residents tend to use a double G, while mapmakers and the Department of Transportation stick with one.

However, these guys had absolutely nothing to do with the spelling…


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4 Responses to THROG(G)S NECK, Bronx

  1. Hens says:

    Minor quibble: in the 1600s, The Netherlands was a republic. Therefore, there was no Dutch “crown” to pledge allegiance to.

    • Sergey Kadinsky says:

      Indeed, Netherlands is one of just a few countries in the world that went from a republic back to a monarchy. Spain is another one. Both have kings today.

  2. The superfluous G in Throgs Neck reminds me of a client I once had named Gregg. I asked him about the spelling of his first name. He had no explanation why his parents chose to exa”gg”erate his name.

  3. Ken B says:

    When commenting on his wife Mary Todd’s family name, Abraham Lincoln would explain that one “g” was good enough for God, but not good enough for the socially upreaching Todd family.

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