How Do You Pronounce Mahopac Correctly? The Final Answer is Confusing
Mahopac is a Hamlet of Carmel located in Putnam County, NY.
Ken Schmitt served as Town Supervisor the community for 14 years, so if anyone should be able to answer questions about Carmel or Mahopac, he'd be the guy. We needed help with an age old query about the Hamlet so we asked him to be a guest on the I-95 Morning Show. Schmitt joined us on Thursday (4/27/23) edition of the program and we asked what we thought was a simple question.
The proper pronunciation of Mahopac, NY has been a matter of great debate for decades.
Is it MAYO-pack of Mu-Ho-pack? This is what Schmitt had to say:
"Well, it depends on who you talk to. If you speak to the residents who have been here for many years including myself, it's generally spoken as Mu-Ho-Pac. The newer residents who've been here probably 25, 30 years, they pronounce it MAYO-pac. So, it's acceptable either way but it all depends on who you're speaking with and how they want to pronounce it. I accept it either way sometimes I may pronounce it Mu-Ho-Pac other times I may say MAYO-pac. Either way, it works for me and it works for the residents also."
So there are certain situations where you apply it one way and others where you say it another way, or are you just fluid?
"It goes back and forth. Perhaps if I'm with a group of seniors who've been in the community for many many years, I may pronounce it Mu-Ho-Pac, it all depends. I have spoken to many senior groups and I've pronounced it both ways. So, it's kind of fluid but the younger people who moved here within the last couple of decades, they enjoy pronouncing it MAYO-pac. So, it goes either way."
Here's the most important question, is it Car-mul or Car-Mel?
After all of this, there was only one thing I could say to the former Supervisor, "you guys need to get your act together."
What did we learn here?
1. Ken doesn't realize how divided folks are on this issue.
2. If you lived in Mahopac for 30 years or less it's MAYO-Pack
3. If you've been there more than 30 years, it's Mu-Ho-Pac.
4. It requires absurd mental gymnastics to speak to humans in Mahopac, about Mahopac.
Thanks for reading this, oh I almost forgot, Ken Schmitt is going to be running for Carmel-Mahopac Town Supervisor again.
P.S. We also spoke to Ken Schmitt about the Mahopac Mascot change. The New York State Board of Regents has outlawed the use of Native-American themed nicknames or mascots. They've said any school that does not comply, will not receive state funding. The Mahopac School District is currently beginning the process of changing the name. We asked Schmitt what he thought of this decision and his answer was very passionate. You can hear what he had to say in my article titled: "Board of Ed Outlaws Native American Mascots, What's Next for Mahopac?"