ᎠᎽᏥ is Armuchee in Cherokee

When I tell people I grew up in East Armuchee, they almost inevitably say, “Ar-what?” If you spell it out for them, they say, “Ar-MU-chee?” It’s hard to make people understand the way we say it: Ar-MUR-chee. Yes, it’s weird, I know that. But it’s the way we say it. It’s like how in New York we say “How-stun” Street instead of “Hew-stun” like the city in Texas. If you say “Hew-stun Street” in NYC, we’ll look at you as if you have three heads, just like if you say “Ar-MU-chee” back home.

Armuchee (ᎠᎽᏥ) is a Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ) word. Cherokee is an endangered language, but tech companies are doing their part to help preserve this valuable part of our world heritage. You can use Cherokee on your iPhone  or search Google with the language (Murph; Google). Despite this, no one knows precisely what “Armuchee” means. There are various interpretations, including “land of beautiful flowers” and “much water” or “much fish” (Armuchee). In the words of Larry Salmon, “perhaps the real meaning was lost on the Trail of Tears” (Salmon).

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