Some Surprising Ways Major Cities Got Their Names

Some Surprising Ways Major Cities Got Their Names

You are likely familiar with some popular nicknames of cities across the country. The Windy City, Big Apple, and Motor City are just a few. But what about their original name? You may not have given it much thought but here are how some of America’s cities got their names.

Chicago

The name of this large Illinois city is derived from the Native American word shikaakwa. Botanists know this as Allium Tricoccum. Robert de LaSalle is credited with first using the word Checagou around 1679, which eventually evolved into Chicago.

Cleveland

This Northern Ohio city was founded in 1796 by surveyors from the Connecticut Land Company. The city was initially referred to as “Cleaveland” after General Moses Cleaveland.  It was in 1831 that the local newspaper, The Cleveland Advertiser changed the city’s name to Cleveland, leaving off the first “a” so the name would fit on the newspaper’s masthead.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia acquired both its name and nickname from the Greek word “Brotherly Love”. William Penn founded the community in 1682.

Atlanta

Founded in 1837, this city was named because it was located at the end of the Western & Atlantic Railroad line. The name Atlanta serves as the feminine equivalent of Atlantic.

Buffalo

Once known as Buffalo Creek, there are several versions of how this Western New York city got its name. One suggests that it was derived from the French Beau Fleuve, or “beautiful river”. The other is that it was simply named for the Buffalo that may have once extended to this part of the country.

Cincinnati

This Southwestern Ohio city was once called Losantiville but was changed because the Northwest Territory’s governor disliked the name. It was changed to Cincinnati, after a Roman soldier named Cincinnatus.

Nashville

The Country Music Capital of the World was located near the original Cumberland settlement of Fort Nashborough in 1779. It was named for Francis Nash, an American Revolutionary War hero. Even back then the community was known for fiddlin’, the roots of it becoming Music City.

Portland

It would seem a no-brainer that Portland would be named so because it is a port city. That would not be correct, however. The city’s name was actually deiced on a coin flip and should the coin had fallen differently, the Oregon city would have been named Boston.

Sometimes things are not as they may seem. The same can be said for your insurance. There may be unknowns about your coverage or you may even be paying too much. Contact us for an insurance review and a no-obligation quote today!


Do you have questions about your insurance? Find an insurance agent near you with our Agent Finder

Buzz Your
Insurance Agent

Search for a local agent with our agent finder map.

Agent Finder

Search All Blogs

Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Buzz Your
Insurance Agent

Search for a local agent with our agent finder map.

Agent Finder

Want to learn more about our blog writer?

Read more about KayLynn's background.

Click Here

Search All Blogs

Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

Flappers, Flights & Fizzy Fridays: The Roaring Twenties You Never Knew

Dive into the 1920s beyond the speakeasies! Explore the decade’s social shifts, technological marvels, and surprising connections to modern times.

Bundle Up and Save! The Ins and Outs of Business Insurance

Unsure about business insurance? Don’t be! Learn how bundling different coverages protects your company and puts money back in your pocket.

Life Insurance Myths Busted: Unveiling the Simple Truths Behind Financial Security

Considering life insurance but confused by the myths? We clear the air on common misconceptions and show you how to get simple, affordable coverage.

Buckle Up for Savings: How Car Safety Ratings Save You Money

Crash Test Your Cash Flow: How Car Safety Ratings Impact Insurance Rates

Pool Paradise or Premium Pain? The Splashing Truth About Pool Insurance

Dive into Savings: How Pools Affect Homeowners Insurance (and How to Stay Afloat)

Lights, Camera, Action! Exploring the Real-World Locations of Your Favorite Films

Exploring the Real-World Locations of Your Favorite Films

From PJs to Productivity: Mastering the Work-From-Home Hustle

Ditch the Commute, Keep the Cash: Working From Home Hacks for Peak Performance

The Farewell Financial: Planning a Peaceful Goodbye

Beyond Goodbyes: A Guide to Navigating Funeral Costs and Life Insurance

From Death Traps to Death Beaters: How Cars Became Surprisingly Safe

Buckle Up and Breathe Easy: Unveiling the Hidden Heroes of Car Safety

Cracking the Condo Code: Your Guide to Condo Insurance

Condo Confusion Conquered! A Guide to Condo Insurance Coverage