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Origins Of The Names Of US Cities  
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 19
Posted (11 years 11 months 21 hours ago) and read 15132 times:
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I am intruiged as to where some of the names of US cities originated from. For example, i know New York originated from York in England.

Boston originated from Boston, Lincolnshire in England.

New Jersey from Jersey in UK

New Hampshire from Hampshire, England

New England is obvious.

I know San Francisco,Los Angeles,San Diego etc etc are all latin names derived from Hispanics and central/south america. But where do the likes of Seattle, Chicago, Miami, Dallas and Atlanta originate from.

Any other city/states who origins also explained would be helpful.

Thanks
Arsenal@LHR



In Arsene we trust!!
47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15112 times:

From the Chicago Public Library (http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/timeline/originame.html):

"The name "Chicago" derived from the Indians but it is not known which tribe named the town and many theories have been advanced to explain the origin of the name. One generally accepted is that the name comes from the Indian words for either wild onion or skunk, but some historians believe that the word Chicago denoted "strong" or "great." Dr. William Barry, first secretary of the Chicago Historical Society, wrote, "Whatever may have been the etymological meaning of the word Chicago in its practical use, it probably denoted strong or great. The Indians applied this term to the Mississippi River, to thunder, or to the voice of the great Manitou." M. M. Quaife in his book Checagou asserts that the significance of the name was anything great or powerful."


User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15103 times:

Here's a great site with the origins of all 50 states' names (the first page has states A-L):

http://www.namely-yours.com/namesstates.php


Her's what they say about Arizona:

"Although a number of sources indicate otherwise, there is now strong evidence that the origin of "Arizona" comes from the Basque word meaning "The good oak tree" *
The other possible origins for Arizona's name include: Pima Indian word - arizonac: 'little spring'
also Aztec-Indian word - arizuma: 'silver-bearing'. Please note: Although these two possible origins are more widely accepted, the article described below provides some impressive evidence to support the Basque connection theory for the origin of "Arizona"."


User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15100 times:

Chicago is a Native American name.

Miami is a Native American name - named after the Miami Indians.

Atlanta is Greek - a derivation of the Greek god Atalanta.

I have no idea about Seattle or Dallas. But am curious. Could either be British?

Most American cities names are either British, Native American, or Spanish.

TNNH



User currently offlineKL713 From Netherlands, joined Aug 2001, 771 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15097 times:

Before New York became New York, it was called New Amsterdam, but then the Dutch traded New Amsterdam for a part of British Guyana, now called Suriname


732 733 734 73G 738 739 742 743 744 752 763 77E 773 77W 319 320 332 333 343 388 M11 146 DH4
User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2682 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15092 times:

"Detroit" means "the strait" in French. Detroit was named by its first settlers.. French, of course. Alot of things around here carry french names.. Streets like Cadeaux, Charlevoix, Montclair, Livernois etc.. dot the city..

Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac was the first to discover the Detroit.. He's also who the car is named after.




My city (Novi) according to the Detroit Almanac originated from "No.VI" or "Number Six".. NoVI was the sixth stop on the Detroit-Lansing Railroad line.




Fly Delta's Big Jets!
User currently offlinePHX-LJU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15091 times:

Here's how Phoenix got its name (from http://www.gemini.edu/sciops/instruments/phoenix/phoenixTrivia.html):

"...and the city of Phoenix, Arizona (US): located in a semiarid, saucer-shaped valley that is surrounded by mountains and green irrigated fields. The Salt River valley was occupied as early as 1300 AD by prehistoric Indians, now known as the Hohokam culture, who developed a system of irrigation canals before disappearing in the early 15th century. In 1867 Jack Swilling visited the area and, noticing the remnants of the ancient canals, organized an irrigation company; new canals were built, and a village was founded. An associate of Swilling, Darrel Duppa, was likewise impressed by evidences of the prehistoric culture, and predicted that, like the legendary phoenix which had been consumed by fire but arose from its own ashes, so would the Salt River city be born from the ancient Indian ruins. The settlement was thus named Phoenix and was incorporated in 1881. Phoenix became the seat of the territorial government in 1889 and remained the capital when Arizona attained statehood in 1912."


User currently offlineHartsfieldboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15082 times:

Atlanta is Greek - a derivation of the Greek god Atalanta

That is the definite origin of the name, someone's name there was Atalanta. But they decided to stick with that because the railroad Western and Atlantic ran thru there, so it made sense.


User currently offlineJetsetter From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15069 times:

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is Greek. Phila = Brother Delphi = City

I believe!!

-Jetsetter


User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15061 times:
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Some interesting points, i had an idea that Atlanta had something to do with Greek but never knew what it was.



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8272 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 20 hours ago) and read 15055 times:

Cleveland was named for its founder, Moses Cleavland.


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 19 hours ago) and read 15051 times:
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There is also a Cleveland and a Washington in the UK, or was Washington DC named after George Washington?



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineExitRow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 11 months 19 hours ago) and read 15053 times:

Not much to do here.



User currently offlineKL713 From Netherlands, joined Aug 2001, 771 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (11 years 11 months 19 hours ago) and read 15040 times:

what about Mianus? I saw that on Jackass Big grin


732 733 734 73G 738 739 742 743 744 752 763 77E 773 77W 319 320 332 333 343 388 M11 146 DH4
User currently offlineTWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (11 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 15022 times:

A few city etymologies that I know of:

Minneapolis is a combination of the Ojibwe (also known as the Sioux) word "Minne," which means water, with the Greek suffix "polis," which means city. Thus, city of water. It was originally called St. Anthony, named by Father Louis Hennepin, a French Canadian explorer and missionary. (BTW, the name Minnesota means "Land of sky blue waters.")

Houston was named after Sam Houston.

Seattle was a Native American chief, as I recall.

Many California cities got their names from Spanish missionaries.
San Francisco = Saint Francis
San Diego = Saint James
Los Angeles = the Angels
etc.

>>Before New York became New York, it was called New Amsterdam, but then the Dutch traded New Amsterdam for a part of British Guyana, now called Suriname<<

The Dutch didn't trade New Amsterdam for anything. The British invaded and took over New Amsterdam. Ahead of the attack, the Dutch built a wall, and that is where the present-day Wall Street derives its name.



An unexamined life isn't worth living.
User currently offlineAZO From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 767 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (11 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 15015 times:

My city was first called Bronson, named after the founder. It was later changed to its current name, Kalamazoo in 1837.

The name "Kalamazoo" is from the Indian word Kikalamazoo, meaning "the rapids at the river crossing," or "boiling water."

kalamazoo



Kalamazoozoozoozoozoozoozoo
User currently offlineNonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1297 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (11 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 15014 times:

A few more....

Austin--After Stephen F Austin, founder of a colony in Texas
Baton Rouge--French for "Red Stick"
Memphis--named after an ancient Egyptian city
Los Angeles--"The City of Angels"
Columbia, Columbus, etc.--after Christopher Columbus
Jackson, Lincoln, Washington--presidents
El Paso--"The Pass" in Spanish, shortened from El Paso de Norte--the pass of the North


User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (11 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 14992 times:

Des Moines, Iowa

Another name with an uncertain origin. From the City of Des Moines website:
.....Captain Allen proposed to name the garrison Fort Raccoon but was directed by the War Department to use the name Fort Des Moines. The origin of the name is uncertain, but most historians agree that the name probably initially referred to the [Des Moines] river. Some people feel that 'Des Moines' is derived from the Indian word 'moingona' meaning river of the mounds which referred to the burial mounds that were located near the banks of the river. Others are of the opinion that name applies to the Trappiest Monks (Moines de la Trappe) who lived in huts at the mouth of the Des Moines river. French voyagers referred to the river as La Riviere des Moines. The consensus seems to be that Des Moines is a variation of Moingona, Moingonan, Moingoun, Mohingona, or Moningounas, as shown on early maps.


Some more interesting ones:

There is a small town in Iowa called Elkader named after Abd-el-Kader, an Algerian-Islamic revolutionary. from: http://www.themodernreligion.com/ht/elkader.html:
The legendary hero of Algeria's resistance against France, Abd-el-Kader led a jihad against the Western power in the 1830s. He managed to unite the various Arab and Berber clans in a devastating war until 1847. Several months before El-Kader's surrender to Louis Napoleon's France, the Iowa town founders chose the world newspaper darling of the moment as their municipality's namesake.

Memphis, Tennessee (named after the one in Egypt)

I wonder how many other American municipalities have Arab-origin names?


User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5521 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (11 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 14989 times:

Dallas was name after Vice-President George Mifflin Dallas.


...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineRayPettit From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 608 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 14984 times:

...which was also the name of the village his ancestors came from - Dallas in Morayshire, Scotland. Current population is less than 200.

R


User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (11 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 14983 times:

Yeah Dallas, like Dulles (Sec of State John F. Dulles) is just an All-American name.

Aresenal: Washington, DC is named for our first president and DC - District of Columbia is named for Christopher Columbus.

My college town: Ithaca is named for an ancient Greek city where either Illieas or Aneas came from.

My home town: Boca Raton, FL is Spanish for "Mouth of the Mouse". Named by Spanish conquistadors and explorers because the cove the town was started from apparently looked like the mouth of a mouse.

TNNH


User currently offlineTimmsp From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 11 months 17 hours ago) and read 14968 times:

I am from the "City of the Waters" which is located in the "Land of Sky Blue Waters".

Tim


User currently offlineImisspiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6294 posts, RR: 33
Reply 22, posted (11 years 11 months 16 hours ago) and read 14955 times:

Tucson is an attempt to pronounce a Hopi word meaning "spring at the foot of the black hill." The Santa Cruz river, now dry, ran year round until about 130 years ago.


Damn, this website is getting worse daily.
User currently offlineSIA fan From Indonesia, joined Aug 2000, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (11 years 11 months 15 hours ago) and read 14947 times:

The city where I live now: Madison (Wis.) was named after the fourth US President, James Madison.


SQ*G BD*S
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (11 years 11 months 15 hours ago) and read 14945 times:

Revolutionary War hero Gen. 'Mad' Anthony Wayne was appointed to secure the frontiers in the Ohio Valley from Indian raids and encroachment by the European powers of England, France and Spain. In 1794 he established a fort near the intersection of the St. Mary's, St. Joseph and Maumee rivers in NE Indiana. Of course it was know as Fort Wayne.


"Shaddap you!"
25 Us330 : From the books I have read, there is no definite source for how Dallas got its name. Quoting from Page 353 of "The Roadside History of Texas": "John N
26 Sebolino : One time, I was in Spain, and I was driving through the country with some friends. I think it was in Andalusia, we drove near to a very small town cal
27 Scotty : The name Dallas comes from the Scottish Gaelic dàil] nf. g. dàlach; pl. dàlaichean, a meeting, convention There are lots of them elsewhere in Scotl
28 Seb146 : Seattle was one of the chiefs of the area when white man arrived. Tacoma was the native word for Mt Reiner. Pendleton, Oregon (PDT) gets it's name fro
29 AOMlover : Perhaps "New Orleans" come from the French city Orléans, as it seems that there used to be a lots of French people in Louisiana a long time ago...
30 TWFirst : No "perhaps" about it.. that's precisely where the name came from. Louisiana was once part of "New France." Saint Louis was named after Louis XIV, I b
31 DesertJets : My town, Charlottesville... probably named after some English Queen or Princess. Don't know which one though.
32 Arsenal@LHR : I see there is a place called "Frankfurt" in Kentucky, did Germans settle there or what? thanks
33 Con-pilot : Oklahoma in Native American stands for Redman’s land, or something like that. Therefore Oklahoma City must stand for Redman’s Land City. G
34 Trickijedi : Aaahhh, the power of copying and pasting. The name "Chicago" derived from the Indians but it is not known which tribe named the town and many theories
35 Post contains images PHX-LJU : Trickijedi, Actually, I copied and pasted that exact same paragraph above (see post #2).
36 Post contains images Twaneedsnohelp : Redman’s Land City hahaha
37 Post contains images Trickijedi : Ooops PHX-LJU! Well if it makes you feel any better I didn't copy and paste it from your post.
38 UALPHLCS : Most places that have New in them you can figure out. AS for the French influence it extends from Canada all through the Ohio Valley and into the Miss
39 Srbmod : Atlanta's name did come from the fact that the Western and Atlantic RR decided to change the name of the town after they made it the northern terminus
40 Post contains images Twaneedsnohelp : You also have Joliet IL and Detroit in the Midwest. Can you imagine if we called Detroit by its French prnounciation? De Twat TNNH
41 Pendrilsaint : I agree sbrmod...some of the names of cities in Georgia really lend themselves to give the state a slightly less 'backwoods' feel. Cities like Rome ,
42 Post contains images Lortab 7.5mg : The City of Gary (Indiana) is named after U.S Steel Chairman Elbert H. Gary.
43 PROSA : I am intruiged as to where some of the names of US cities originated from. For example, i know New York originated from York in England. Actually, it
44 Post contains images Paulc : There are numerous UK place names in the USA, Boston, Manchester, Winchester, Birmingham, Plymouth, Lancing, Rochester to mention a few. Probably as a
45 Staggerwing : Kansas City and the State of Kansas are named after the Kanza Indians. Missouri is the "Big Muddy" in one of the Indian languages. If you ever see it
46 Post contains images Arsenal@LHR : Just say you're from the UK PaulC, that won't cause any confusion.
47 Post contains images TWFirst : >>You also have Joliet IL and Detroit in the Midwest. Can you imagine if we called Detroit by its French pronounciation? De Twat TNNH
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