Used as a nickname for a real or imaginary area considered to be “back of the beyond.” Note: This now has official status in the names of Amarugia Lake and the surrounding Amarugia Highlands Conservation Area in Cass County, Missouri, both created in 1987.
1879 Hist. Fulton Co. IL 970, Near the center of the township [=Young Hickory] is the spot where in early days some of the settlers would congregate for sport. . . Some of them would take a little too much bourbon, and appeared very ridiculous . . , which on one occcasion [sic] brought forth the following remark from one of the old settlers: “They look more like Amarugians than anything else.” The people took up the name and christened the place Amarugia, by which that vicinity is known even to this day. [DARE Ed: The area was first settled c1830.] 1893 Chicago Tribune (IL) 7 Mar 4/6, The new member from Amaroogia County arose to address the Chair. . . Nothing was known of his ability as a public speaker, but from the fact that he was spoken of by the Amaroogia papers as a rising man. [DARE Ed: This humorous item was widely reprinted, but appar originated in this paper.] 1897 Star (Kansas City MO) 6 Jan 4/5 cwMO, The Cass County Times locates the “Kingdom of Amarugia” between the south prong of Grand river and Owens creek, all in Cass county. 1902 Advocate & Democrat (Marysville KS) [8 Aug 4]/5, [“Elm Creek Squibs” column:] An overplus of sandburs / With here and there some oats,/ . . / In a field that’s thin and rolling / With flint rocks on every hand;/ That’s what constitutes good threshing / Down in Amaroogia land. 1908 Ibid [12 Nov 4]/2, [“Elm Creeklets” column:] Morley Robinson has finished his new barn in Amaroogia. 1921 Sabetha Herald (KS) 17 Nov sec B 46/7, There is some discussion about the origin of the word “Amarugia” where Sam Hill farm lies. Mrs. Haines insists the word came from Charlie’s suggestion. Older folks than she say Charlie was in knee pants playing mumble-depeg when Amarugia was first so-dubbed. . . St[ill] other old residents claim that Sam Hill farm barely borders the real Amaraugia [sic] which lies farther over toward the Granada neighborhood. [1983 DARE File cwIL, According to the President of the Fulton County Historical Society, the people of London Mills still refer to themselves as Amarugians.] 1987 Joplin Globe (MO) 6 Sept sec B 3/1, Amarugia today is a 20-square-mile region between Archie, the Bates County border and the unincorporated towns of Everett and Main City. 2009 in 2017 DARE File—Internet cwMO, I’m a native of the Amarugia highlands. . . If someone my mom wasn’t too impressed with was mentioned in our conversation, she’d say, “Oh, they’re from out in Amarugea. . .” I didn’t know exactly what that meant at that time.