There are many theories about what the word Taghkanic means, its origins, and its spellings... A widespread belief in the Town is that it means “land of flowing waters” in Mahican. A 1906 State publication has a different interpretation:
Taghkanick, the name of a town in Columbia County and primarily of a tract of land included in the Livingston Patent and located “behind Potkoke,” is written Tachkanick in the Indian deed of 1685; Tachhanick in the Indian deed of 1687-8; “Land called Tachkanick which the owners reserved to plant upon when they sold him Tachhanick, with the land called Quissichkook ;" Tach-kanick, “having the kill on one side and the hill on the other”; Tahkanick (surveyor’ s notation 1715) is positively located by the surveyor on the east side of the kill called by the Indians Saukhenak, and by the purchasers [of] Roelof Jansen’s Kill.
Of the meaning of the name Dr. E. B. O’Callaghan wrote : “Tachanuk, ‘Wood place,’ Literally, ‘the woods,’ from Takone, ‘forest,’ and iik, ‘place’” which Dr. Trumbull regarded as “the least objectionable” of any of the interpretations that had fallen under his notice, and to which he added: “Literally, ‘wild lands,’ ‘forest.’”
It would seem to be more probable that Tachk, Taghk, Tachh, Tahk, etc., represents Tak (Taghk), with formative an, Taghkan, meaning “wood ;” and ek, animate plural added, “Woods,” “trees,” “forest.” Dr. O’ Callaghan’ s ilk (00k), “Land or place,” is not in any of the orthographies.
The deed-sentence, “When they sold him Tachanick,” reads literally, from the name, “When they sold him the woods.” The name was extended to the reserved field, to the stream and to the mountain.* The latter is familar to geologists in what is known as the Taconic rocks. Translations of the name from Del. Tachanne, “Cold stream,” and Tankkanne, “Little river,” are without merit, although Tankhanne would describe the branch of Roelof Jansen’ s Kill on which the plantation was located.
* The purchasers claimed but the Indians denied having sold the mountain. It was heavily wooded no doubt. Livingston claimed it from having bought “the woods.” The Moravian missionaries wrote, in 1744, Wtakantschan, which Dr. Trumbull converted to Ket-takone-wadchu, “Great woody mountain.”
(Not sure that clarifies anything, but it’s something for the record.)