The Mound That Gave Massachusetts Its Name

(Moswetuset Hummock, as seen from Quincy Shore Drive in the Fall.)

There seems to be consensus that Massachusetts is named after the indigenous people living in the area.

What is not unanimous is where the name of the tribe came from. It is commonly translated as “near the great hill,” possibly referring to the Blue Hills south of Boston. Alternatively, it is represented as “Moswetuset” from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock in Quincy (shown above). Moswetuset means “hill shaped like an arrowhead.”

Whichever is the correct origin of the name, it is clearly rooted in the Earth.
hummock (noun)
: a low mound or ridge of earth; a knoll.

hill (noun) :
: a small heap, pile, or mound.


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