I live in the ridge and valley region of east Tennessee USA. English speaking settlers began to pour into this area in the 1830"s. There is a ridge running north/south called No Pone ridge, with a valley running beside it with the same name...No Pone valley.
This is in McMinn County, where I live. This ridge and valley system stops at the Hiwassee river. Oddly enough, across the river, in another county, there is what seems to be a continuation of the same ridge/valley system, and the valley is also called No Pone valley.
I would like to know the meaning of the word “pone”. I have searched on line dictionaries, and all I come up with is “a southern term for cornbread, from an American Indian word”. My daughter found some reference to a legal term from England.
I did find a latin word, pons, which means “bridge”. I thought, well, maybe this is where the valley name originated, and settlers moving up and down the valley would know that there was no way to cross the river here. That is just pure speculation on my part. The spelling and pronounciation of words change over the centuries. There are many people in this area with the last name Baugh, which was changed from the original Bach.
So, if someone could could help me out here, I would greatly appreciate it.
I love the English language, and am so pleased I found this site.