This page is dedicated to “The Lake Lingo,” a language that is still used in current day Nonantum, MA. There are multiple theories as to when and how the language came to exist in that area. The most consistent theory was that a local joined the carnival or circus and upon return taught the language to the locals.
Nonantum is the very first village of established in Newton, MA and runs along the south bank of the Charles River. It derives its nickname, “The Lake,” from Silver Lake, a small body of water previously located in the region as early as 60 years ago. The surrounding neighborhood was built around the local parish Our Lady Help of Christian’s by local Irish settlers and played a central role in the areas cycle of immigration.
By the turn of the 20th century, the area has established a strong Italian presence. The largest percentage of these immigrants hailed from a small village located south-east of Rome named San Donato Val di Comino. Throughout the years, the descendants of the original Italian families in The Lake have played a pivotal role in maintaining a strong and diverse flavor to the City of Newton, Massachusetts.
The town also boasts one of the oldest synagogues in the Northeastern United States. Rabbi Weinberg, a personal friend of mine, looks after the Jewish Orthodox shul (synagogue) on Adams Street. I have attended Shabbat there multiple times and have received many a warm welcoming by the Rabbi and the Jewish people of Nonantum.