Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gnaw Bone, IN - Lost in Translation!


Early French settlers started this Indiana community naming their new town Narbonne to honor the city in France. When the English settlers arrived they translated the name of “Narbonne” to “Gnaw Bone”. There are many towns throughout the United States where the original names were eventually translated into something completely different. As the United States expanded, it took on many different dialects. Eastern and Southern accents often evolved into a whole new meaning. As the English language became the spoken language across the United States, many translations became misinterpretations. As in this case, the name “Gnaw Bone” had a different meaning and nothing to do with the original founders intended name for their community. The post office was often the final arbitrator of decisions and sometimes mistakes were made. The post office was very reluctant to change a name once they made a decision.