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Given the president's shock and dismay at hearing those immortal verses of Francis Scott Key in Spanish, I hereby submit a proposal for immediate attention by the Federal government. Red-blooded Americans shouldn't be forced to live in cities and states with funny names. Democracy is an English invention (well, except for the Scots and Irish), and unless it stays English must necessarily totter and fall. Iraqis take note!

Candidates for immediate, summary Anglicization after the flip.


California (after a utopia in the early Spanish novel Las sergas de Esplandián by Garcia Ordóñez de Montalvo, ca. 1500)

Colorado (Sp. "reddish," ref. to the reddish color of mud found in the Colorado River)

Florida ("flowery," perh. ref. to the Spanish term for Easter, Pascua de Florida, because Ponce de Leon first saw land during the Easter season)

Louisiana  (for King Louis XIV of France)

Montana (Sp. "mountain," Spanish word suggested on the state's induction in 1889 by Rep. James M. Ashley of Ohio)

Nevada (Sp. "snow-covered")

Vermont (Fr. vert mont, "green mountain")


Alamo, TX (Sp. "poplar")

Alcatraz, CA (Sp. álcatraces, "pelican")

Bayonne, NJ (town in France)

Baton Rouge, LA (Fr. "red stick" perh. from red cyprus in the middle of a Native American village that stood at the site in the 18th century)

Belleville, IL (Fr. "Beautiful Town")

Bellevue, WA (Fr. "Beautiful View")

Belmont, CA (Fr. "Beautiful Mountain")

Beloit, WI (Fr. bel d'etroit, "beautiful strait")

Boca Raton, FL (Sp. boca de ratónes, "mouth of the mouse" perh. ref. to the jagged rocks in a nearby inlet)

Boise, ID (Fr. "wooded")

Buffalo, NY (Fr. beau fleuve, "beautiful river")

Calais, ME (after the French city)

Cape Canaveral, FL (Sp. cañaveral, canebrake)

Dry Salvages, MA (from Fr. les trois sauvages, "the three savages," a cluster of three islands off the Massachusetts coast. See the TS Eliot poem of that name)

Fresno, CA (Sp. "ash tree")

Coeur d'Alene, ID (Fr. "sharp-hearted," ref. to a nearby Indian tribe)

De Pere, WI (Fr. rapides des Peres, "rapids of the Fathers," ref. to a Jesuit mission on the nearby Fox River

Detroit, MI (Fr. d'etroit, "of the strait" shortened from Pontchartrain d'Etroit)

Eau Claire, WI (Fr. "clear water")

El Paso (Sp. "passage")

Florissant, MO (Fr. fleurissant, "flowering" or "flourishing")

Fond du Lac, WI (Fr. "end of the lake")

Gros Ventre River, WY (Fr. "great belly," name given to a nearby Native American tribe)

La Brea, CA (Sp. "tar")

La Crosse, WI (Fr. "the cross," ref. to the stick used in baggataway, a Native American game played by French fur traders, so named because of its resemblance to Catholic bishops' staff, known as a "crosier")

Lafayette, NJ (named for some Frog general)

Lake Champlain, NY (for Samuel de Champlain, the first European to visit the lake in 1609)

Lake L'Homme Dieu, MN (Fr. "lake of the man of God")

Laramie, WY (for Jacques La Ramie)

Las Cruces, NM (Sp. "crosses")

Las Vegas, NV (Sp. "meadows")

Los Angeles, CA (Sp. "angels," shortened from El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciúncula (The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciúncula)

Los Gatos, CA (Sp. "cats")

Moline, Il (corruption of Fr. moulin, "mill").

Montpelier, Vt (for French city)

Ozarks (Fr. aux arcs, "with bows," perh. ref. to the Indians who lived there)

Prairie du Chien, WI (Fr. "Meadow of the Dog")

Racine, WI (Fr. "root")

San Antonio, TX (Sp. "Saint Anthony," ref. to St. Anthony of Padua, on whose feast day in 1691 Spanish explorers found and named the river of this name).

San Francisco, CA (Sp. "Saint Francis" ref. to the San Francisco de Asís mission ).

Sangre de Cristo Mountains, NM (Sp. "blood of Christ," ref. the red glow cast on it by the setting sun)

Santa Fe, NM (Sp. "holy faith," shortened from La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís, The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis)

The Dalles, WA (Fr. "the flagstones")

Terre Haute, IN (Fr. "high ground")

NOTE: Needless to say the above list ignores toponyms (place names) derived from Native American languages. But then again, they can't manage much of a boycott at this point. Spanish is anti-American because America depends on Spanish-speakers!

Originally posted to Empedocles on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 09:38 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ah, your note explains a lot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I was going to say, what about Minnesota, Mississippi, etc, but you're right, the Native American boycott is not yet looming.

    Don't forget St. Louis, MO and the lesser known Pompei, MI.  But I'm thrilled to see Eau Claire there -- just as long as no one gets the idea to rename it Clearwaters.

  •  Empedocles says (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    " Democracy is an English invention (well, except for the Scots and Irish)"

    It's all Greek to me...

  •  My 84 year-old mother -- a New Mexico native -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, Blue Generalist

    was joking today about how some folks seem ready to secede from the union over the Star Spangled translation.

    I'd love it if Tom Tancredo would just go somewhere and start his own country, surrounded by a great big wall and heavily armed Minutemen.  I promise not to visit him there.

    Well, Mark, the President has worked to elevate the discourse in this town.
    -- Scott McClellan 5/17/2005

    by coloradobl on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 09:58:38 PM PDT

    •  I nominate Utah (0+ / 0-)
      sorry, Utah.

      (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to kos we go, with a...

      by doorguy on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 11:21:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or Idaho (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry Idaho. Oklahoma? No, too close to me.I don't guess I'd wish him off on anyone. Except maybe Cheyne.

        They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. -- Franklin

        by carolita on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 11:24:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I saw your comment yesterday (0+ / 0-)

        Yah, I too grew up in santa fe, and then after high school , I took off, and tried to visit as many places as possible. I lived in California about 15 years, till all that trafic and congestion got to me and I finally returned back home. I am older now so I do appreciate the smaller town, and Santa Fe is beautiful especially for the artistically inclined.  This diary is very interesting in how all that we are is a product of so many influences.

  •  States (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Few States have names of English origin. I´d say probably around half of the States have names of Native American origin (e.g., Tennessee, Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, the Dakotas, Mississippi, Alabama, Oregon, and on and on and on). The same goes for place names in general.

    Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

    by brainwave on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 10:12:42 PM PDT

    •  Virginia.... (0+ / 0-)

      for the virgin queen Elizabeth.  Maryland, New York, New Hampshire, Georgia, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania....

      All British names, many honoring kings or queens.  

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 10:19:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but that's about it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'll add to my list Alaska, Arizona (disputed - could be of O'odham, Nahuatl, or Spanish etymology), Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai'i (Hawai'ian, obviously, so Austronesian, not Native American), Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah (admittedly a guess - can't find the info right now - think it might be Ute - for sure it's not English though), Wisconsin, and Wyoming. And indirectly Texas, which is Caddoan via Spanish. That's 26 States with names likely originating from Native American languages or Hawai'ian.

        Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

        by brainwave on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 10:38:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cripes (0+ / 0-)

          Forgot Massachusetts. It's late and I'm tired and I can't spell that name anyhow. Besides I'm being charitable on New Mexico, which is technically half Native American; but let's split the difference.

          Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

          by brainwave on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 10:44:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  minor, rather unnecessary correction (0+ / 0-)

    The Dalles is in Oregon, not Washington. I'm an Oregon/Washington native and feel compelled to make this correction.

    As a second generation Norwegian-American, I've looked at the steps my grandparents had to follow to become citizens here when they emigrated in, respectively, 1879 and 1899.  There were basically two conditions to be met, as far as I can tell - you either had to have money, or a decent guarantee of employment My grandmother lived in Minnesota from age 19 (1899) to her death (1949) and spoke possibly 100 words of English in all those years.

    The hoops required for immigration now have no relationship to the rules that existed when most previous century immigrants arrived on Ellis Island.

    Every man has three characters: that which he shows, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has...Alphonse Karr

    by exmearden on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 10:29:28 PM PDT

  •  You forgot a state... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Maine is named after the French province and river.  Much of Maine was a part of French Acadia.

  •  Damn Right-- (0+ / 0-)

    We Scots had a democratic church--make that a republic--one or two centuries before the anglos in North America figured out it was a canny way to run a country.

    I moved from some Native American named state hugging the shore of some Native American named lake, in an Italian named town, to an English named township in an English named county in an English named state, named for an English named president. So you bet your donkey I'm now a real Murkin.

    I have an English last name myself because the Americans coudn't pronouce our Gaelic name.

    But like so very many English last-named people, I have a Jewish first name. That's ok with my Scots family because Jews so often take Scots last names. Seems a fair trade. They don't fool people with that move any more than we fool God with ours.

    Odd thing is, the natives from my present state were never moved out. They're mostly still here, the survivors at least, and they don't call any of these places what we do.

    I think I'll have another beer ale.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Apr 30, 2006 at 11:23:04 PM PDT

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