Brooklyn Public Library


Who Stole My "H"?

May 12, 2008 9:55 AM | 2 comments

What’s in a Word is more than just a book by renowned author Webb Garrison. What’s in the word Williamsburgh is the million dollar question on the minds of many Brooklynites.

The name Williamsburgh, spelled with the letter H may seem strange to many. After all, most present day Brooklyn locations like the Williamsburg Bridge, and Williamsburg the neighborhood, omit the letter H at the end. But have you ever wondered what happened to our dear friend letter H.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. In the mid 1800’s, before it was home to hipsters and artists Williamsburgh was its own village within the Town of Bushwick. After making a name for itself as a bustling and thriving community of its own, Williamsburg seceded from Bushwick and became the City of Williamsburgh in 1852. The City of Williamsburgh maintained its status for only three years before merging with Bushwick and becoming part of Brooklyn in 1855. At this time not only did Williamsburg merge with Brooklyn, it also managed to lose its identity in the merger, dropping the H from its name.

Want to learn more about Brooklyn past and present? Then check out the Brooklyn Collection online or at Central Library.

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5/18/2008 2:21:25 PM #

Very interesting! I suppose you mean 1855, not 1955, correct?


5/20/2008 10:52:29 AM #

Yep we did... Thanks Jennifer -- we made the udpate.