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As a body of water, a kill is a creek. The word comes from the Middle Dutch kille, meaning "riverbed" or "water channel".

The term is used in areas of Dutch influence in the Delaware and Hudson Valleys and other areas of the former New Netherland colony of Dutch America to describe a strait, river, or arm of the sea. Examples are Kill Van Kull and Arthur Kill, both separating Staten Island, New York from New Jersey, Dutch Kills and English Kills off Newtown Creek, Bronx Kill between the Bronx and Randalls Island, and used as a composite name, Wallkill River in New York and New Jersey, Paulinskill River that runs through Sussex and Warren County in New Jersey, and the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania. Fresh Kills is the primary waterway that leads to the former Fresh Kills landfill which serviced the city of New York in the second half of the 20th century and was once the largest landfill in the world.[1]

The term is incorporated into several rivers in Delaware including the Murderkill River, the Broadkill River, and the Whorekill River. "Kill" also shows up in many location names such as the Catskill Mountains, the city of Peekskill, the town of Fishkill, New York, and the hamlet of Wynantskill, New York.

A reference to 'kil' can be found in Dutch geographical names, e.g. Dordtsche Kil, Sluiskil (in the Terneuzen municipality), or Kil van Hurwenen.