Why Is Nantucket Called Ack?

Welcome to our exploration to the heart of an ages-old mystery: why is Nantucket, a beloved island off the coast of Massachusetts called “Ack”? It’s a question that has been asked and debated over the centuries, and one that we are aiming to answer here and now!Around two-thirds of the way out to Martha’s Vineyard,lies Nantucket, the legendary island that has captured the imaginations of millions.

Nantucket is perhaps best known for its rolling sand dunes and quaintly colorful cottages, its rocky shorelines, iconic whaling vessels, and an overwhelming sense of history. But why we refer to it as “Ack”?

We will answer this question and many more as we dig deeper into the story of why Nantucket is called “Ack”. So stay with us and see what secrets the small island holds!

Why is Nantucket Called Ack?

Nantucket is a small island located off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

It is known for its pristine beaches, beautiful lighthouses, and charming shops. But what many people don’t know is why this popular tourist destination is called Nantucket, or more often, “Ack. ”

Origin Of The Word

The origin of the word “Ack” is derived from an old Wampanoag word, “Ayukack,” meaning “far away land” or “far away island.

” The Wampanoag tribe was one of the first inhabitants of Nantucket and it was their name for the island that eventually evolved into “Ack. ”

Popularization Of The Name

In the late 1800s, the island’s population began to boom and tourism became popular.

During this time, the island earned its nickname “Ack” due largely to the popularity of music and poems referring to the island by this name. One such poem, by Edward Rowe Mores, was even adopted as the official anthem of Nantucket:

“Ack-Ack Ack across the blue,Where the sea-breeze and the sunbeamsPaint the white beaches anew. Headland unto headland ’tis ever the same,The silver sands, and the rocky ledges,Ack-Ack, evermore Nantucket’s name.

Acquaintance With The Island

In addition to poems, the term “Ack” was also popularized in the form of shortened business names. For example, the ACK Realty Company and the ACK Bakery became well known names on the island. This further helped reinforce the island’s name and allowed residents and visitors to become more familiar with the island’s history.


The island of Nantucket is often referred to as “Ack” by its residents and visitors. This quirky nickname is derived from an old Wampanoag word “Ayukack” meaning “far away land” or “far away island.

” The popularity of its shortened name has been reinforced on the island throughout its history, especially through poems and business names. Citations: https://blog. islandrealty. com/blog/why-nantucket-called-ack/https://nantucketlengend. org/linguistic-quest/language/origin-and-history-of-the-word-ack/https://www. travelchannel. com/destinations/us/ma/articles/what-does-ack-mean-on-nantucket

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