What Does the Expression “Neck of the Woods” Mean and Where Did the Phrase Come From?

Today, “this neck of the woods” would mean this specific neighbourhood.

The phrase comes from the very beginning of European settlement in North America.

It’s from the Anglo adaptation of the Algonquin Indian word naiak, meaning a narrow strip or corner of wooded land, usually protruding into water.

The Algonquin naiak was interpreted by white settlers as neck, and so the phrase became neck of the woods.