The water in a bay always opens into a larger body of water, such as a lake or ocean, at a nondescript point. The opposite end of the bay—that is, the portion that thrusts farthest into land—is known as the bayhead. The term is curious, in that bays are never said to have feet or tails, only heads. Along the coastal plain of the Southeast, the term takes on a different meaning altogether. There, bayhead refers to an area of swampy vegetation either at the inland edge of a bay water or at the headwaters of a stream. In the latter case, it is named not for the body of water into which its moisture flows, but for the thick, evergreen vegetation to which it plays host—red bay, sweet bay, loblolly bay

Jan DeBlieu