1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, A Revised version of 1000 California Place Names by Erwin G. Gudde, Third by William Bright1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, A Revised version of 1000 California Place Names by Erwin G. Gudde, Third by William Bright

1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, A Revised version of 1000 California Place…

byWilliam Bright

Paperback | November 30, 1998

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This is the new "pocket" version of the classic California Place Names, first published by California in 1949. Erwin G. Gudde's monumental work, which went through several editions during its author's lifetime, has now been released in an expanded and updated edition by William Bright. The abridged version, originally called 1000 California Place Names, has grown to a dynamic 1500 California Place Names in Bright's hands. Those who have used and enjoyed 1000 California Place Names through the decades will be glad to know that 1500 California Place Names is not only bigger but better. This handbook focuses on two sorts of names: those that are well-known as destinations or geographical features of the state, such as La Jolla, Tahoe, and Alcatraz, and those that demand attention because of their problematic origins, whether Spanish like Bodega and Chamisal or Native American like Aguanga and Siskiyou.

Names of the major Indian tribes of California are included, since some of them have been directly adapted as place names and others have been the source of a variety of names. Bright incorporates his own recent research and that of other linguists and local historians, giving us a much deeper appreciation of the tangled ancestry many California names embody. Featuring phonetic pronunciations for all the Golden State's tongue-twisting names, this is in effect a brand new book, indispensable to California residents and visitors alike.
William Bright is Professor Adjoint in Linguistics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of numerous books including A Coyote Reader (California, 1993). He edited the four-volume International Encyclopedia of Linguistics (1991), as well as the revised, unabridged California Place Names (California, 1998).
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Title:1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning, A Revised version of 1000 California Place…Format:PaperbackDimensions:172 pages, 7.13 × 4.25 × 0.51 inPublished:November 30, 1998Publisher:University of California PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0520212711

ISBN - 13:9780520212718

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California. The name was applied first to what is now called Baja California, around 1562, and later extended to Alta California, the present state of California. The term originally referred to a mythical land of Amazons, ruled by the beautiful black queen Calafia, as described in a Spanish novel, Las sergas de Esplandian (The Exploits of Esplandian), by Garci Ordonez de Montalvo.Dunsmuir [Siskiyou Co.]. Named in 1886 for Alexander Dunsmuir, a coal magnate of San Francisco who promised the townspeople a fountain if they would name the town after him.Gordo. Spanish for fat, plump (fem. gorda); the term has been applied to massive promontories on the coast, such as Punta Gorda [Humboldt Co.]--literally, fat point,--so named in 1775.Gualala (wuh LAH luh) [Sonoma Co.]. From a Kashaya Pomo village name, walaali, derived from ahqha walaali, water go-down place. English speakers interpreted this as Walhalla, which in Norse myths was the heavenly home of fallen warriors. In 1862 this name was mistakenly interpreted as Spanish and given the spelling Gualala.

From Our Editors

William Bright presents an updated and expanded version of Erwin G. Gudde's classic abridged guide to California community names. Focussing on well-known destinations or geographical features and names with problematic origins, 1500 California Place NamesWilliam Bright presents an updated and expanded version of Erwin G. Gudde's classic abridged guide to California community names. Focussing on well-known destinations or geographical features and names with problematic origins, 1500 California Place Names provides phonetic pronunciations, local histories and linguistic family trees for each town name.

Editorial Reviews

"The definitive guide to the etymology of California's geographical names . . . updates the state's poetic vocabulary and gives compelling proof that place names are not the fixed road-map landmarks that so many assume them to be."--"Santa Cruz Sentinel