Conchs and Freshwater Conchs
Lets start off with: What is a Conch? Lets get the pronunciation correct, to begin with. The ch has the same sound as it does in my name, Christopher. So, it’s pronounced “Conk”. I know a lot of people who read this blog have English as a second language and a conch is not something that would ordinarely get too much usage. A picture of a conch is seen below.
The term Conch (note the capital C) here in the Keys applies to anyone born in the Keys. The term actually came from the Bahamas. Over there the term refered to Bahamians of European decent. There seem to be a lot of theories on how that came about. It seems that wherever these Bahamians imigrated to, they were called Conchs. Riviera Beach, near Palm Beach, had a section of town called “Conchtown”, where Bahamian ex-patriots setteled. Also, in Miami’s Coconut Grove section, a large amount of Bahamians setteled. Bahamians of both European and African decent, moved to Coconut Grove and Key West.
The Bahamian Conchs had been setteling throughout the Keys since the early 1800’s. The term has been libralized here in the Keys however. Today, anyone born in the Keys is a Conch, regardless of race or heritage.
Myself, I was not born here, therefore I am not a Conch. On the other hand, I really don’t know how it came about, but if you live in the Keys for seven years, you become a “Fresh Water Conch”.
As I moved here in May, of 2008, I’m proud to say that I am now, officially a Fresh Water Conch!
Picture by Ralph De Palma