"a v-shaped nick or indentation," 1570s, probably a misdivision of an otch (see N for other examples), from French oche "notch," from Old French ochier "to notch," a word of unknown origin. Said to be unconnected to nock. U.S. meaning "narrow defile or passage between mountains" is from 1718, mostly a New England and New York word for what is called further south a gap.
island off Massachusetts, early forms include Natocke, Nantican, Nautican; from an obscure southern New England Algonquian word, perhaps meaning "in the middle of waters." Its identity as a summer resort for the wealthy dates to 1950s. Related: Nantucketer.
1630s, "of or pertaining to a congregation," from congregation + -al (1). In reference to Congregationalism, the Protestant movement in which church congregations were self-governing, from 1640s. The term was most used in New England, in Britain they were called Independent.
"North American Indian baby or young child," commonly carried by its mother bound up and strapped to a board, 1630s, from Narragansett papoos "child," or a similar New England Algonquian word; said to mean literally "very young."
"troublesome, annoying," 1775, originally in New England dialect, perhaps a dialectal formation from pest (OED compares plaguy "confounded, annoying, disagreeable"). Partridge suggests an origin in Essex dialect. Sometimes in American-English colloquial use a mere intensive, "excessively." Related: Peskily.
town in New Jersey, founded 1696 as Stony Brook, named for the Long Island home of one of the first settlers; renamed 1724 to honor Prince George, later George II of England (1683-1760). The university there was founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey; it moved to Newark in 1747, then to Princeton in 1756. It was renamed Princeton University in 1896. Related: Princetonian.
"thick fish soup," 1751, American English, apparently named for the pot it was cooked in: French chaudière "a pot" (12c.), from Late Latin caldaria "cooking pot" (source of Spanish calderon, Italian calderone), from Latin calidarium "hot bath," from calidus "warm, hot" (from PIE root *kele- (1) "warm").
The word and the practice were introduced in Newfoundland by Breton fishermen and spread from there to the Maritimes and New England.
CHOWDER. A favorite dish in New England, made of fish, pork, onions, and biscuit stewed together. Cider and champagne are sometimes added. Pic-nic parties to the sea-shore generally have a dish of chowder, prepared by themselves in some grove near the beach, from fish caught at the same time. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]
The modern form of it usually features clams. In New England, usually made with milk; the Manhattan version is made with tomatoes. The derogatory chowderhead (1819) is a corruption of cholter-head (16c.), from jolt-head, which is of unknown origin.
"mildly insane, bewildered, tipsy," 1848, pix-e-lated, from pixie + -lated, as in elated, etc., perhaps influenced by or a variant of pixie-led. A New England dialect word popularized 1936 by its use in movie "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town."