Most People Don’t Know The Meaning Behind These 16 Arizona Towns
The origin and meaning behind Arizona’s name is heavily debated by historians. Some attribute it to a word or phrase from several different indigenous tribes, such as Alĭ ṣonak (or, “place of small springs”) from the Tohono O’odham language. Other historians claim it is an Anglicized version of Zona Arida, the Spanish phrase for “arid land.” Others still claim it comes from a Basque phrase, haritz ona, meaning “good oak trees.”
While we may never truly know where our state got its name, we can at least count on knowing the origins behind the naming of our cities. A good deal of them were named after town founders but others just make you scratch your head in wonder. While we have a lot of little towns with strange names, here are just 16 to impress someone the next time you stroll into one of these towns.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/
Did the origin behind any of these town names surprise you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page! Also, let us know if you would like to read a follow up article with the origins behind more town names.
Monica is a Diné (Navajo) freelance writer and photographer based in the Southwest. Born in Gallup and raised in Phoenix, she is Tódich'ii'nii (Bitter Water People) and Tsi'naajinii (Black Streak Wood People). Monica is a staff writer for Only In Your State, photo editor for The Mesa Legend, and previously a staff writer for The Navajo Post. You can reach her at [email protected]
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