List of Los Angeles placename etymologies

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Source of the place names in the city of Los Angeles, California

Place Name Source
Abbot Kinney Boulevard Abbot Kinney, founder of Venice, California
Aliso Street Named after the Aliso, the old sycamore that stood at the entrance of Jean-Louis Vignes' winery
Alvarado Street Juan Bautista Alvarado, Mexican Governor of Alta California
Baldwin Hills neighborhood E. J. "Lucky" Baldwin, mining and real estate investor
Beaudry Avenue Prudent Beaudry, Los Angeles mayor
Bel-Air neighborhood Alphonzo E. Bell, Sr., owner of the "Buenos Aires Ranch"
Brooklyn Avenue After Brooklyn, New York, in honor of the many Jewish Americans living in Boyle Heights at the time
Cahuenga Boulevard
Cahuenga Pass
Cahuenga, the Spanish name for the Tongva village of Kawengna, meaning place of the mountain
César E. Chávez Avenue César Chávez Mexican-American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist
Comey Avenue John Lewis Comey John Comey won the naming of this short street in a real estate sales contest in the 1920s.
Crenshaw neighborhood
Crenshaw Boulevard
George Crenshaw, banker and real estate developer
Figueroa Avenue
Figueroa Street
José Figueroa, Mexican Governor of Alta California
Glassell Park neighborhood Andrew Glassell real estate lawyer and owner
Griffith Park and Griffith Observatory Griffith J. Griffith, Welsh-American industrialist and philanthropist
Huntington Drive Henry E. Huntington, railroad magnate and business man
La Brea Avenue La Brea, the Spanish name for the oil fields near present-day Hancock Park, meaning tar
Lankershim Boulevard Isaac B. Lankershim, German-American landowner
Leimert Park Walter H. "Tim" Leimert
Los Feliz neighborhood
Los Feliz Boulevard
Rancho Los Feliz, originally granted to José Vincente Feliz
Micheltorena Street Manuel Micheltorena, Mexican Governor of Alta California
Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Highway
William Mulholland, water-services pioneer in Southern California
Olvera Street Augustín Olvera, early Los Angeles judge
Olympic Boulevard Formerly 10th Street; First referred to as Olympic Blvd in 1931 in honor of X Olympiad in 1932 (name change official in 1935) [1]
Pico Boulevard Pío Pico, last Mexican Governor of Alta California
Rosecrans Avenue William Rosecrans, Civil War general and owner of Rancho San Pedro
Sepulveda Boulevard
Sepulveda Pass
Sepúlveda family
Sherman Oaks neighborhood
Sherman Way
Moses Sherman, land developer and streetcar line owner
Silver Lake neighborhood
Silver Lake Boulevard
Silver Lake Reservoir
Herman Silver
Slauson Avenue J. S. Slauson, land developer
Tarzana neighborhood Tarzana Ranch, owned by the creator of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tujunga neighborhood
Tujunga Avenue
From the Tongva term Tuyunga, meaning mountain range
from tu'xuu = old woman tu'xuunga = place of the old woman
Van Nuys neighborhood
Van Nuys Boulevard
Isaac Newton Van Nuys, businessman, banker and real estate developer
Vignes Street Jean Louis Vignes, French settler in Los Angeles who planted European grapes
Watts neighborhood C. H. Watts, real estate developer
Wilmington neighborhood Wilmington, Delaware, birthplace of founder Phineas Banning
Wilshire Boulevard Gaylord Wilshire, land developer, publisher and outspoken socialist
Workman Street, Lincoln Heights William H. Workman, Los Angeles mayor


  1. ^ Roth, M. W. (2007). Concrete utopia: The development of roads and freeways in los angeles, 1910--1950.