List of U.S. place names of Spanish origin

List of U.S. place names of Spanish origin

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, especially in the southwest, with Spanish names:


*Colorado ("Colored Red")
*Nevada (from " [Sierra] Nevada" "Snowfall
*New Mexico (Calqued from "Nuevo México")
*Montana (from "Montaña": "Mountain")
*California (from the name of an imaginary island in "Las sergas de Esplandián", a popular Spanish chivalric romance of the time)
*Florida ("flowered")


*Puerto Rico (means "Rich Port" in Spanish)
*Northern Mariana Islands (Named after Mariana of Austria; once a queen consort of Spain)
*U.S. Virgin Islands (Calqued from "Islas Vírgenes")

Counties and parishes

"(This is not an exhaustive list.)"
*Alamosa County, Colorado ("shaded with elms")
*Archuleta County, Colorado (Spanish surname)
*Bandera County, Texas ("flag")
*Bosque County, Texas ("forest")
*Brazos County, Texas ("arms")
*Conejos County, Colorado (named after the Conejos River, meaning "rabbits")
*Costilla County, Colorado (named after the Costilla River, meaning "little coast")
*De Soto County, Florida (named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto)
*De Soto County, Mississippi (named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto)
*De Soto Parish, Louisiana (named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto)
*Dolores County, Colorado (derived from "Nuestra Señora de los Dolores", Spanish name for Our Lady of Sorrows)
*Escambia County, Florida (named for the Escambia River, whose name comes from a Spanish word for "barter" or "exchange")
*Esmeralda County, Nevada ("Emerald")
*Hernando County, Florida (named after Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto)
*La Paz County, Arizona ("The peace")
*La Plata County, Colorado ("Silver)
*Las Animas County, Colorado (named after the Animas River, derived from "Río de las Ánimas Perdidas", which means "River of the Lost Souls")
*Leon County, Florida (named for Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, it is his surname which means "lion")
*Nueces County, Texas (named after Nueces River, derived from the pecan nuts, meaning "nuts")
*Pinellas County, Florida (named after "La Punta de Piñal de Jimenez", which means "Jimenez's Point of Pines", after the entrance to Tampa Bay by Spanish explorers in 1757)
*Refugio County, Texas ("Shelter")
*San Jacinto County, Texas ("Saint Jacinto")
*San Juan County, Utah (named after the San Juan River, meaning "St. John")
*San Patricio County, Texas ("Saint Patrick")
*Santa Rosa County, Florida (named after Santa Rosa Island, which means "Saint Rose"
*Valencia County, New Mexico (Spanish city of Valencia)
*Victoria County, Texas (Spanish family name, meaning "victory")
*Zapata County, Texas (Spanish family name)

Cities, towns and villages

This is not an exhaustive list.
*Alamosa, Colorado ("shaded with elms")
*Albuquerque, New Mexico (derived from the Spanish town of Alburquerque)
*Altamonte Springs, Florida ("high hill")
*Amarillo, Texas ("Yellow")
*Anna Maria, Florida (Juan Ponce de Leon was said to have named the island for the queen of Charles II of Spain)
*Aventura, Florida ("adventure")
*Bandera, Texas ("Flag")
*Boca Del Mar, Florida ("Mouth of the Sea")
*Boca Pointe, Florida ("mouth [inlet] ")
*Boca Raton, Florida (from "Boca Ratón": derives from the Spanish word boca [mouth] was often used to describe an inlet/mouth of a river, while ratón (literally mouse) was used by Spanish sailors to describe rocks that gnawed at a ship's cable, or mouse was a term for a cowardly thief)
*Bonita, California (feminine form of "beautiful" or "pretty")
*Bonita, Louisiana
*Bonita Springs, Florida
*Cadiz, Kentucky (named after the Spanish city; Cadiz, Spain)
*Cadiz, Ohio
*Cape Canaveral, Florida (the name "Cañaveral" in Spanish was given to the area by Spanish explorers for the sugarcane plantations. It literally means "canebrake". The name can be interpreted as "Cape of Canes", or "Cabo Cañaveral")
*Casa Grande, Arizona ("big house")
*Casas Adobes, Arizona("adobe houses")
*Cerritos, California ("little hills")
*Chula Vista, California ("beautiful view")
*Cordova, Alaska (named after the Spanish city, Córdoba)
*Cinco Bayou, Florida ("five bayou")
*Corona, California ("crown")
*Corte Madera, California ("Cut Wood")
*Costa Mesa, California ("Mesa Coast")
*Ebro, Florida (named after the Ebro River area in Spain)
*El Cajon, California ("drawer")
*El Cerrito, California ("little hill")
*El Dorado, Arkansas ("the golden one")
*El Dorado, California
*El Dorado, Kansas
*Eldorado, Illinois
*El Monte, California ("the mountain" or "the meadow")
*El Paso, Texas ("The Pass")
*El Portal, Florida ("the [wooden] gate", also can mean "the portal")
*Escondido, California ("hidden")
*Fresno, California ("Ash Tree")
*Galvez, Louisiana (named after governor Bernardo de Gálvez)
*Granada, Colorado (named after the Spanish city, meaning "Pomegranate")
*Havana, Florida (named after Havana, Cuba)
*Indio, California ("indian")
*Jacinto City, Texas (Jacinto is a Spanish given name)
*La Jara, Colorado ("the rockrose")
*Lake Buena Vista, Florida ("good view")
*La Quinta, California ("the fifth")
*Laredo, Texas (Spanish town)
*Las Vegas, Nevada ("The fertile lowlands")
*Los Angeles, California ("The Angels", a shortened version of the original name "Nuestra Señora Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncola", "Our Lady Queen of Angels of Porziuncola")
*Madrid, Alabama (named after the Spanish capital city; Madrid, Spain)
*Madrid, Iowa
*Madrid, Nebraska
*Madrid, New York
*Manteca, California ("Lard")
*Marana, Arizona ("maraña" means "thicket")
*Marina del Rey, California ("King's Navy")
*Matamoras, Pennsylvania, also Matamoras, Indiana and Matamoras, Ohio (named after the Mexican town of Matamoros, which was the first to be occupied by U.S. troops during the Mexican-American War.)
*Miramar, Florida (named after a town in Granma Province, Cuba, it means "sea view" or "sea-sight")
*Modesto, California ("Modest")
*Murrieta, California (Spanish family name)
*Naranja, Florida ("orange")
*Nogales, Arizona ("Walnuts")
*Oviedo, Florida (named after the Spanish city)
*Palo Alto, California ("Tall Tree")
*Pinellas Park (derived from Pinellas, which is "pine forest")
*Plano, Texas ("Flat")
*Ponce de Leon, Florida (named after Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon)
*Ponce Inlet, Florida
*Pueblo, Colorado ("Village")
*Punta Gorda, Florida ("fat point" or "fat tip")
*Refugio, Texas ("shelter")
*Sacramento, California ("Sacrament")
*Salinas, California ("salt ponds")
*San Antonio, Florida ("Saint Anthony")
*San Antonio, Texas ("Saint Anthony")
*Saint Augustine, Florida (originally San Agustín: Augustine of Hippo)
*Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
*San Bernardino, California ("Saint Bernardine")
*San Buenaventura, California ("Saint Bonaventure". Buenaventura is a Spanish given name. The city is commonly known as "Ventura".)
*San Carlos Park, Florida ("Saint Charles")
*San Diego, California ("Saint Didacus")
*San Francisco, California ("Saint Francis")
*San Jacinto, California ("Saint Jacinto")
*San Jose, California ("Saint Joseph")
*San Luis, Arizona ("Saint Louis")
*San Marcos, California ("Saint Mark")
*San Marcos, Texas
*Santa Ana, California ("Saint Anne")
*Santa Barbara, California ("Saint Barbara")
*Santa Clara, California ("Saint Claire")
*Santa Clarita, California ("Saint Claire")
*Santa Fe, New Mexico (from "Santa Fé": Holy Faith)
*Santa Fe, Texas
*Santa Rosa, California ("Saint Rose")
*Seville, Ohio (named after the Spanish city)
*Sierra Vista, Arizona ("Mountain view")
*Toledo, Ohio (named after the Spanish city)
*Valdez, Alaska (Spanish family name)
*Vallejo, California (Spanish family name)
*Ventura, California ("venture", "luck", "fortune", or "happiness". Common name of San Buenaventura, California; Saint Bonaventure)
*Valparaiso, Florida ("Paradise Valley")
*Valparaiso, Indiana
*Valparaiso, Nebraska
*Victoria, Texas (Spanish name, meaning victory)
*Zapata, Texas (Spanish family name)


This is not an exhaustive list.
*Llano Estacado ("Staked Plain")
*Cape Canaveral (Anglicized from "Cabo Cañaveral")
*Sierra Nevada ("Snowcapped mountain range" (literally, "sierra" means "saw"))


*Alciijatraz (from: "Alcatraz" "Gannet")
*Farallon Islands (from: "Farallones" "High Cliffs")
*Alameda ("Poplar Grove")
*Key West (Anglicized from "Cayo Hueso": "Bone Cay")
*Key Largo (from Hollywood: the present place name was never given by the Spanish but adopted after the Bogart film
*Key Largo; "Long Key" is a separate islet in the chain, however Matecumbe and Isla Morada (Purple Island) are original Spanish place names in the "Keys" or 'Cayos')
*Perdido Key ("Lost Key")

treets and roads

This is not an exhaustive list.
*El Camino Real ("The Royal Road" or "The King's Highway")
*Santa Monica Boulevard (from "Santa Mónica": "Saint Monica")
*San Pablo Avenue ("Saint Paul Avenue"), Avenida de las Pulgas ("Avenue of the Fleas")
*Camino Pablo ("Path of [Paul the Apostle| [Saint] Paul] ")

ee also

* List of U.S. state name etymologies
* Lists of U.S. county name etymologies
* List of U.S. place names of French origin

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