Probably one of Newton’s most unique villages, Nonantum’s history is comprised of a distinct mix of cultures and ethnicities that have shaped its overall development. Nonantum gets its name, which means “ blessing or prayer” from Native American Algonquian. Following Nonantum’s Native American roots, it was also the home of Waban, a Native American Christian convert in Massachusetts. The village has also been referred to as Silver Lake or The Lake, though today the lake is not the same as most of it has been filled in since the 1930s-50s. Moving into more current times, Nontantum is bordered by Watertown, Newton Upper Falls, and Waltham, and has been home to notable residents such as actress Marianne Leone and actor Matt Leblanc. Nontantum has also come to have quite a substantial Italian population, which has resulted in a strong presence of Italian foods and restaurants. The influence of Italian culture has reached deep into the community’s roots, as Nontantum is known for having its own dialect called “Lake Talk”. This distinctive method of communication is used by many Nontantum Italian-Americans and is rumored to have Italian origins. Some have suggested that the dialect is a mélange of Italian and World War II Code, Angloromani, or an Italian slang. Example phrases include: pukka to the mush — “tell the guy”, wicked pissa, mush!–“extremely awesome, guy”, and wonga—“money”. Lake Talk has even expanded outside the Nonantum village limits as students at Newton North High School have picked it up as well.
Important landmarks surrounding Nonantum include the Charles River, Allison Park, and the Carr School Playground. The community also supports an Evangelical Baptist Church. In terms of education, Nonantum is host to the Trinity Catholic High School as well as the Cabot elementary schools. One can reach Nontantum by traveling on Interstate 90 and Routes 16 and 20.