- For Teachers
What is the head of an island?
We crossed the creek at the head of the island....
It means nothing to me.
NOT A TEACHER
(1) Your question has been driving me crazy.
(2) I have spent hours with "Professor Google," but I have failed to find an answer.
(3) I googled "head of the island" and went to the "books" section. There are many
instances of explorers talking about being at the "head of the island," but they
assume that their readers know the definition, so they do not explain. Even the
famous American author Mark Twain uses the term in some of his novels!
(4) I am starting, maybe, to get a faint idea of what it might possibly mean, but
as a responsible non-teacher I will refrain from publishing any misleading answers.
(5) I am hoping that someone familiar with geographical terms will enlighten us.
(6) Thank you so much for the question. I had never heard of this term before, and I
am eager to learn the answer. There must be a teacher or non-teacher who knows.
My guess is that it's the northern end of a (small) island.
NOT A TEACHER
(1) Now that Moderator Bhaisahab has given us an answer, I now feel more confident in sharing some information that I have just googled.
(2) I discovered that your quotation comes from one of Edgar Allan Poe's stories. Am I right?
(3) I found this quotation in a 1882 book published by the War Department of the United States government:"The first shoal which formerly existed below the Saint Louis Bridge was at the head of Arsenal Island , and the second one [shoal] at the foot of the same island."
(4) I then found an article written by one Kurt A. that says:
"A new bridge built at the tip of Arsenal Island was completed in 1873." [Apparently, "head" and "tip" are being used in the same sense.]
(5) The sources indicate that Arsenal Island was small -- as the moderator suggested.
Also, I imagine that Mark Twain was referring to small islands, too.
Last edited by TheParser; 30-Oct-2011 at 20:16.
Thank you guys for answering!
Yes It's a Poe quotation! and Yes I also googled it because it drove me crazy!!!! Actually it is for a translation class.. Funny that even native speakers don't know the exact meaning.(I guess that's what you are)
But anyway... Thank You Thank You Thank You....
The fact that native speakers aren't sure is more to do with the fact that we weren't alive at the time this was written (guessing around 18xx) and the language has moved on since then.
You would find the same problem if you asked about text from Chaucer (13xx), for example.