Great Neck is a region on Long Island, New York, that covers a peninsula on the North Shore and includes nine villages, among them Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kings Point, and Russell Gardens, and a number of unincorporated areas, as well as an area south of the peninsula near Lake Success and the border territory of Queens.
Before the Dutch and English settlers arrived on the peninsula of Great Neck in the 17th century, the Mattinecock Native Americans originally inhabited the shorelines of the peninsula. It was not until 1681 when the European settlers held the first town meeting. The Mattinecock or Metoac used Long Island Sound as a way to both fish and trade with others.
They referred to present-day Great Neck as Menhaden-Ock. It is speculated that they chose this name because of the large amount of fish in the area. With the arrival of the European settlers on the peninsula in the 1640s, Menhaden-Ock evolved into Madnan's Neck. By 1670, Madnan's Neck had further evolved into the current name Great Neck. Local legend has it that the name "Madnan's Neck" is named after Anne (or Nan) Hutchinson. It is said that Anne Hutchinson tried to take over what is considered present-day Kings Point upon her arrival to the peninsula. However, Anne Hutchinson could not actually procure a land grant or deed for the land that she desired. Her temper supposedly earned her the nickname Mad Nan.