List of place names of Spanish origin in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

As a consequence of former Spanish and, later, Mexican sovereignty over lands that are now part of the United States, there are many places in the country, mostly in the southwest, with names of Spanish origin. Florida and Louisiana also were at times under Spanish control. There are also several places in the United States with Spanish names as a result to other factors. Some of these names preserved ancient writing.

Authenticity and origin[edit]

Not all Spanish place name etymologies in the United States originate from the Spanish colonial period or from the Spanish language. Spanish-sounding place names are classified into four categories:

  • Colonial: Spanish names that were given during the Spanish colonial period, or adaptations of names originally given in the colonial period to the same place or to nearby related places. (Ex: Los Angeles, California)
  • Post-colonial: Spanish place names that have no history of being used during the colonial period for the place in question or for nearby related places. (Ex: Lake Buena Vista, Florida, named in 1969 after a street in Burbank, California)
  • Non-Spanish: Place names originating from non-Spaniards or in non-historically Spanish areas. (Ex: Salamanca, New York, or Toledo, Ohio)
  • Faux: Fabricated Spanish place names, typically by non-Spanish speakers. (Ex: Sierra Vista, Arizona)

States[edit]

  • Arizona (either from árida zona, meaning "Arid Zone", or from a Spanish word of Basque origin meaning "The Good Oak")
  • California (from the name of a fictional island country in Las sergas de Esplandián, a popular Spanish chivalric romance by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo)
  • Colorado (meaning "Red [colored]" or "Ruddy". Named after Colorado City; now called Old Colorado City.)
  • Florida Meaning ""Flowery" or "Florid", because it was discovered by Ponce de León on Easter Sunday, called Pascua Florida to distinguish this holiday, which occurs in springtime when flowers are abundant, from other Christian holidays called Pascua in Spanish, such as Christmas and Epiphany.
  • Montana from Latinized Spanish meaning "mountainous", also in Spanish "montaña" is the name of "mountain"
  • Nevada comes from the Spanish Sierra Nevada (which is also a mountain range in Spain), meaning snow-covered mountain range ("Nevada" is the Spanish feminine form of "covered in snow").
  • New Mexico (Calqued from Nuevo México)
  • Texas (based on the Caddo word teshas, meaning "friends" or "allies", which was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in East Texas). The letter x had a "sh" sound in 16th-century Spanish which gradually evolved to an "h" sound, which under later spelling reforms was assigned to the letter j (which originally also had a "zh", "j" or "y" sound). Thus the modern Spanish spelling Tejas, which sounds like "Tehas".
  • Utah (Spanish word of Nahuatl origin, first used by friar Gerónimo Salmerón as Yuta or Uta in Spanish[1])

Territories[edit]

Counties and parishes[edit]

This is not an exhaustive list.

County seats[edit]

Populated cities[edit]

Cities[edit]

This is not an exhaustive list.

A[edit]

B[edit]

C[edit]

D[edit]

E[edit]

F[edit]

G[edit]

H[edit]

I[edit]

J[edit]

L[edit]

M[edit]

N[edit]

O[edit]

P[edit]

R[edit]

S[edit]

T[edit]

U[edit]

V[edit]

Y[edit]

Z[edit]

Native American Reservations[edit]

Census-designated places and unincorporated communities[edit]

Districts and boroughs[edit]

Neighborhoods[edit]

Towns and Townships[edit]

Villages[edit]

Former settlements[edit]

Historic places (still standing)[edit]

Forts[edit]

Missions[edit]

Presidios[edit]

Ranchos and Spanish lands[edit]

Islands[edit]

Natural places[edit]

Bays and inlets[edit]

Forest[edit]

Mountains, hills, rock, ranges, caves and volcanos[edit]

Regions[edit]

This is not an exhaustive list.

Rivers and Lakes[edit]

Springs and waterfalls[edit]

Valleys[edit]

Wilderness, deserts and dunes[edit]

Wildlife Refuges and protected areas[edit]

Parks[edit]

Peninsulas[edit]

Institutions, buildings and streets[edit]

Estates, houses and buildings[edit]

Streets and roads[edit]

This is not an exhaustive list.

Railroads and Metro station[edit]

Airports[edit]

Churches[edit]

Theatres[edit]

Schools and Academies[edit]

Organizations[edit]

Others[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ What is a Ute?
  2. ^ Native American placenames of the ... - William Bright - Google Libros. Books.google.es. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  3. ^ Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 86
  4. ^ Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 187

External links[edit]