[Note: This entry is also at Quarterly Update 5.]
binnekill n Also sp bin(n)acle, binnakill, binnikill, binocle; also, by folk-etym, benderkill, bendy-kill [Colonial Du < Du binnen inner + Du kil channel] chiefly c, ceNY old-fash Cf binnewater n, kill n
A side channel, backwater, or small lake along a river; a millrace.
1804 Albany Centinel (NY) 16 Mar /5, [Advt:] Beginning at the south-east corner of lot number fifty-eight, a beach tree, . . standing at the intersection of a Binne-Kill, with the Delaware river [etc]. 1818 Cabinet (Schenectady NY) 14 Oct /3, [A] certain piece or parcel of ground lying and being on the Island commonly called Fonda Island, butted and bounded as follows: on the north by the Mohawk river, on the east by a creek or binna-kill, on the south by the ground of Rebecca Van Antwerpen, and on the west by the ground of Jacob Fonda. 1855 Knickerbocker 45.262 cNY, And in viewing the scenes . . see us with our fishing rods, searching the binnakills, or letting our flies float down the trout streams. 1860 in 1901 DN 2.132 cNY, Running thence down along the shore of said river at low water mark to a point at the mouth of the binacle, thence up along the western side of said binacle at low water mark. 1881 Burroughs Pepacton 27 cNY, I might be caught in the binocle, or engulfed in the whirlpool, or smashed up in the eddy. . . [B]ut that terrible binocle,—what was that? I had never heard of such a monster. Oh, it was a still, miry place at the head of a big eddy. 1896 DN 1.412 cNY, Binnacle: the flume of a mill stream, a mill race. 1901 DN 2.132 c, ceNY, Along the West Branch of the Delaware, “binnacle” is a familiar designation for a lesser river channel, a mill race, a river inlet into the flat land, or a pool of water in the flat land adjoining the river. . . Along the course of the Susquehanna River, between Otsego, N. Y., and Afton, N. Y., the word binnacle is known. It has also been reported from Ithaca, N. Y., and Kinderhook, N. Y. Ibid 133 ceNY, A resident of Albany, who signs himself “Hollander,” writes as follows: “The binnekill is a very crooked part of the Mohawk separating two islands. My grandfather, who was a Mohawk Dutchman and spoke that language, told me that binnekill meant crooked creek. I have also heard it called bendy-kill, but never binnacle.” Ibid 134 cNY, Similar is the testimony of Mr. J. F. Callbreath of White Lake, N. Y. “I have always spelled it benderkill. I have no authority for its spelling, only my first impressions fifty years ago, when I first heard the word on the Delaware river at Narrowsburg, where there is an eddy caused by a bend in the river. Below the eddy is an inland or small stream forming the island on one side, thus a bend-stream or benderkill.” 1904 Harper’s Weekly 48.1180 NY, It had rained all night; the river was yellow, bank high, and impassable; the only hope lay in clear back water, binnikills, and such spring-fed basins as the Haunted Pool. 1923 Catskill Mt. News (Margaretville NY) 14 Dec 1/2, The car nearly stopped before going over the bank, but then took the plunge down the twenty-foot embankment into the pond or binnekill below. 1948 Kingston Daily Freeman (NY) 27 July 1/5, These American Egrets . . may be seen close up by bird-lovers at almost any hour by driving down to the end of the Kingsford lane. They feed in another old Binnekill at the left in the Gates pasture.