Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Quawk Hammock

In the past I have written about Old Quawk's Day (you can read about that here). Old Quawk is remembered in the names of several places on Ocracoke Island, especially Quawk's Point (also known as Quokes Point, Quork's Point, and several other variations in spelling), and Quawk's Creek (the road sign, now gone, said Old Quoke's Creek if I am not mistaken). There is also Quawk Hammock.

Quawk Hammock

Although the irreverent Old Quawk may have actually existed...and been lost at sea on March 16 many years ago, there are other explanations for the name Quawk (or Quoke, etc.). This is what Roger Payne has writes in his book, Place Names of the Outer Banks:

"Actually the name is a derivation of the spelling of the word quaking. A low wet marsh or hummock (hammock) is sometime referred to as a quaking hammock or a quake hammock. some sources indicate that if the marsh contains certain species of grass whose spikelets make a rattling or quaking noise in the wind, it is known as a quaking hammock. A quaking or quake hammock may also have its origin from the Middle English term quaghe which eventually meant quag or quake and referred to wet low marshes. The term quaking bog is a common reference in fourteenth and fifteenth century England."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a brief history of Howard's Pub. You can read it here: https://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082117.htm.   


  1. Julie s.8:20 AM

    What differentiates between a hammock, cove, bay, inlet, etc? I see so many areas that appear to be the same that it is confusing. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous4:16 PM

    another interesting entry in the daily bog of Philip Howard...Thank you AGAIN.(I am waiting to hear the answer to Julie's question)

  3. In November, 2016, I addressed the different definitions of sound, bay, estuary, and lagoon. You can read that here: https://villagecraftsmen.blogspot.com/2016/11/sound-bay-esturary-lagoon.html

    A hammock, or hummock, is not a body of water. It is a small elevated area, often covered with trees, within a surrounding marsh or wetland.

    A cove is a small recess in a shoreline, and inlet is most commonly used to describe a narrow passage of water between islands (e.g. Ocracoke Inlet or Hatteras Inlet).