The Hamptons

Why always the plural?

By Deane Barker

This is a group of municipalities on the east end of Long Island, known for wealth, expansive homes, and proximity to New York City.

In the state of New York, there are multiple governmental subdivisions: county, city, town, village, hamlet, etc. Some of these have their own governing bodies, and others are just informal or social constructs.

The Hamptons is comprised of two formal towns:

  • Southhampton
  • Easthampton

Within those two towns, there are 22 named villages and hamlets.

The name presumably comes from the fact that about a quarter of these municipalities have the word “Hampton” in the name (Southhampton, Easthampton, Bridgehampton, etc.). Thus, they are literally and collectively, “The Hamptons.”

“Hampton” is an Old English word meaning “town” (literally, “home” and “town”).

Informally, The Hamptons is considered to be east of Eastport, south of Great Peconic Bay, which comprises about the eastern third of Long Island.

Why I Looked It Up

I had known of the general concept of “The Hamptons,” but I got to wondering about specifics. I would always hear “Hamptons” plural, so I wondered if there was a singular “Hampton” (there’s not; at least not with that as its sole name).

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