Cayuga Lake is the name given to the second largest Finger Lake within the 11 glacially formed, finger-shaped lakes. But do you know where the name “Cayuga” comes from? The word “Cayuga” is actually a mispronunciation imposed by European settlers on the indigenous people once surrounding the hills above the lake. The name, “Gayogohono” refers to the native people living in the region around Cayuga Lake for thousands of years. Overtime, settlers pronounced “Gayogohono” as “Cayuga,” giving the region its label for the lake now known today.
Gayogohono roughly translates to “from the swampy land,” referring to the wetland environment found on the south and north end of Cayuga Lake before the land was developed by European settlers.