List of place names of Spanish origin in the United States

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As a result 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, as were California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and portions of western Colorado. There are also several places in the United States with Spanish names as a result of other factors, some of these 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, Salamanca, Toledo or 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.
  • Faux: Fabricated Spanish place names, typically by non-Spanish speakers. (Ex: Sierra Vista)

States[edit]

  • California (from the name of a fictional island country in Las sergas de Esplandián, a popular Spanish chivalric romance by Garci Rodríguez de Mon talvo)
  • Colorado (meaning "red [colored]", "ruddy" or "colored" in masculine form. 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 snowy mountain range (Nevada is the Spanish feminine form of snowy).
  • Utah derives from the Spanish name given to the Ute People by early explorers to the area. The Utes refer to themselves as Noochee, which in Spanish was changed to Yuta.[1]

Territories[edit]

Counties and parishes[edit]

Populated cities[edit]

Cities[edit]

A[edit]

B[edit]

C[edit]

D[edit]

E[edit]

F[edit]

G[edit]

H[edit]

I[edit]

J[edit]

K[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 (CDP) 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]

Other[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carvajal, Guillermo (January 13, 2014). El Desconocido Origen Español del Nombre de Ocho Estados de Norteamérica [The unknown Spanish origin of the name of eight States of North America].ABC. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
  2. ^ Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the ... - William Bright - Google Libros. ISBN 9780806135984. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  3. ^ Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 86
  4. ^ Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 187

External links[edit]