Thursday, January 19, 2012

Throggs Neck or Throgs Neck?

The Throgs Neck Bridge, with one 'G.'
Photo courtesy of MTA Bridges and Tunnels.
"There's always been a controversy," Bronx Historian Lloyd Ultan says of the preference to use one 'G' or two in the name.

The bridge is Throgs Neck--one 'G'--that's for certain. But for fans of history and the way things used to be, Throggs Neck is the name of the community.

The name Throggs is originally named after John Throckmorton, who came to the Bronx in 1642 with a party to settle down. However, a Native American uprising started almost immediately, and they were saved by a passing English boat. The Native Americans slaughtered their cattle and burned their houses.

"But the name of Throckmorton was stuck to that neck of land," Ultan said.

Over time, people simplified the Throckmorton name, eventually having Throggsmorton, which then eventually became Throggs. "Some maps labled it Frogs Neck," Ultan said.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the older, more established people in the area spelled it with two 'G's. Some businesses, and even the area's post office, use two. But there were people who, for no reason in particular, had shortened Throggs to Throgs.

Today, the reason so many people only use one 'G' is because of, but who else, 'master builder' Robert Moses.

When the Throgs Neck Bridge opened in 1961, Moses used the one 'G' because he wanted to save money with sign costs. "It would take less paint to make all the signs leading to the bridge," Ultan said.

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