Arsenal@LHR
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Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 7:58 am

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
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Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:15 am

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."
 
Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:22 am

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"."
 
Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:23 am

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

 
kl713
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:29 am

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
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N312RC
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:32 am

"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.

N/A
 
Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:33 am

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."
 
hartsfieldboy
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:40 am

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.
 
jetsetter
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:02 am

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

I believe!!

-Jetsetter
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:07 am

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!!
 
N766UA
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:12 am

Cleveland was named for its founder, Moses Cleavland.
This Website Censors Me
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:18 am

There is also a Cleveland and a Washington in the UK, or was Washington DC named after George Washington?
In Arsene we trust!!
 
ExitRow
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:19 am

Not much to do here.

 
kl713
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:28 am

what about Mianus? I saw that on Jackass Big grin
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TWFirst
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:26 am

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.
 
azo
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:31 am

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
 
nonrevman
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:33 am

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
 
mls515
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 11:04 am

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?
 
sccutler
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 11:07 am

Dallas was name after Vice-President George Mifflin Dallas.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
RayPettit
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 11:17 am

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

R
 
Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 11:20 am

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
 
TimMSP
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 11:47 am

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

Tim
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 12:42 pm

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.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
SIA fan
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:20 pm

The city where I live now: Madison (Wis.) was named after the fourth US President, James Madison.
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JetService
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:40 pm

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!"
 
us330
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 2:30 pm

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 Neely Bryan, farmer, lawyer, and Indian trader, was the first settler, arriving in 1841 and building a cabin in what is now the western end of the downtown area, today's county government region...The Mabel Gilbert and James J. Beeman families joined him a year later, and the fledgling village became Dallas, probably named for George Mifflin Dallas, vice president of the US from 1845-1849. However, it could have also been named for his brother, Commodore A.J. Dallas of the US Navy; or their father Alexander James Dallas, secretary of the treasury; Joseph Dallas, a settler near the new town; or any of the brothers James R., Walter R., or Alexander James Dallas, all of whom served with the Army of the Republic."
 
sebolino
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:22 pm

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 called "Los Angeles".
Quite funny to see.


What about "Baton Rouge" ? (Red Stick).
 
Scotty
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Tue Oct 29, 2002 10:31 pm

The name Dallas comes from the Scottish Gaelic

dàil] nf. g. dàlach; pl. dàlaichean, a meeting, convention

There are lots of them elsewhere in Scotland and it is a common family name, hence George Miflin Dallas. And they make a great whisky - Dallas Dhu which is also in Morayshire

Scotty
 
seb146
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:50 am

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 from an Ohio senator.
Many of the towns of Southern and Central California take their names from the Missions set up there in the 1800s. That is the reason that I heard there are all the 'San' and 'Santa' names, too.
Life in the wall is a drag.
 
AOMlover
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 1:35 am

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...
 
TWFirst
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RE: AOMlover

Wed Oct 30, 2002 1:40 am

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 believe.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
desertjets
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 2:01 am

My town, Charlottesville... probably named after some English Queen or Princess. Don't know which one though.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 2:31 am

I see there is a place called "Frankfurt" in Kentucky, did Germans settle there or what?

thanks
In Arsene we trust!!
 
con-pilot
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 6:15 am

Oklahoma in Native American stands for Redman’s land, or something like that.

Therefore Oklahoma City must stand for Redman’s Land City. Go Figure.
Remember that different is different, not better or worse, just different.
 
trickijedi
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 8:12 am

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 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.

Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 8:33 am

Trickijedi,

Actually, I copied and pasted that exact same paragraph above (see post #2).  Smile
 
Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 11:38 am

Redman’s Land City

hahaha  Big thumbs up
 
trickijedi
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:20 pm

Ooops PHX-LJU!

Well if it makes you feel any better I didn't copy and paste it from your post.  Innocent
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Wed Oct 30, 2002 2:30 pm

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 Mississippi Valley. This was French North America. Explored and named by the like of LaSalle. Michigan and Chicago while they are Indian names are pronounced in French. In English the CH would be hard. But the french is softer. so we don't have a MiCH igan or CHICago is Mi SHigan and SHicago.

You also have Joliet IL and Detroit in the Midwest.

In the late 18oo's the US started is own silk industry attracting the French silk workers from around Lyon to places like Bayonne NJ.

There is a Welsh influence in and around Philadelphia, w/ Bryn Mawr PA Schuylkill river, Bell Mawr NJ, Wynnewood PA.

Its all immagrants, they left home but always brought some of it w/ them they left it to us in the way they named their towns and cities.

A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
srbmod
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 6:40 am

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 of their railroad at that time, in fact, the city was called Terminus prior to being renamed Atlanta in the 1850s, and prior to that, the city was called Marthasville, after the wife of one of the original settlers in the area. I'm glad they changed the name, could you imagine the 1996 Summer Olympics in a town called Terminus?
 
Guest

RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 11:08 am

You also have Joliet IL and Detroit in the Midwest.

Can you imagine if we called Detroit by its French prnounciation?

De Twat  Big thumbs up

TNNH

 
Pendrilsaint
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 11:45 am

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 , Athens , Atlanta , Savannah, and Augusta really make for a nice change
 
Lortab 7.5mg
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 1:45 pm

The City of Gary (Indiana) is named after U.S Steel Chairman Elbert H. Gary.



 
prosa
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 2:07 pm

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 was named after the Duke of York.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
paulc
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 4:46 pm

There are numerous UK place names in the USA, Boston, Manchester, Winchester, Birmingham, Plymouth, Lancing, Rochester to mention a few.
Probably as a result of the original settles wanting to bring something of 'home' with them.

This does cause confusion in the usa when I say I am from England - they think i mean New England - my reply is "no, the old one" Big grin
English First, British Second, european Never!
 
Staggerwing
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:57 pm

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 after a good rain you would understand why.
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Origins Of The Names Of US Cities

Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:35 pm

Just say you're from the UK PaulC, that won't cause any confusion.  Big grin
In Arsene we trust!!
 
TWFirst
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RE: Tnnh

Thu Oct 31, 2002 10:29 pm

>>You also have Joliet IL and Detroit in the Midwest.

Can you imagine if we called Detroit by its French pronounciation?

De Twat  Big thumbs up

TNNH<<

he he

Same goes if we used the French pronounciation for my home state of Illinois - an Native root word (the Illini) with a French suffix:

ee - lee - NWAH

I wouldn't claim to have been born there if that were the case Big grin.

Incidentally, the reason why it's not a good idea to pronounce Detroit in the French way is the same reason TWA could never print its name side-by-side on anything:

TWATWATWATWATWATWATWATWAT....
An unexamined life isn't worth living.

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