San Francisco’s Hidden Etymologies

San Francisco's Hidden Etymologies

Presidio
Spanish for “garrison”; site of an ancient fort.

Anza Vista
Anza after a Spanish governor, Vista means “view” in Spanish.

Castro
Named after Spanish general Jose Castro.

Richmond
Named after a village in Australia.

Haight-Ashbury
The intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets.

Sunset
This neighborhood is on the west side of the city; facing the sunset.

Miraloma
Spanish “look at the hill”.

Ingleside
Combines Celtic and English elements; means “by the fireplace”.

Parkmerced
Between Harding Park and Lake Merced.

Crocker Amazon
Named after railroad tycoon Charles Crocker and Amazon Street.

Alcatraz
The old Spanish word for “albatross”; from Arabic al-gattas, “the diver”.

Alamo Square
Alamo is Spanish for “poplar tree”.

Cow Hollow
Used to be used for grazing.

Russian Hill
Was the site of a Russian cemetery.

Treasure Island
There was thought to be a treasure in the soil.

Telegraph Hill
Used to be used for signaling.

Nob Hill
Shortening of nabob, an Urdu word for “rich man”.

Yerba Buena
Island Yerba Buena was the original name for the settlement of San Francisco; previously the name for a local plant.

Embarcadero
Spanish “the place to embark”.

SoMa
“South of Market”.

Tenderloin
Named after a neighborhood in Manhattan due to a shared connection of bribery and prostitution.

Dogpatch
Possibly named after a cartoon character.

Potrero Hill
Potrero is Spanish for “pasture”.

Noe Valley
Named after Jose de Jesus Noe, the last mayor of Yerba Buena.

Bernal Heights
Named after Cornelia Bernard, a Spanish soldier.

Portola
Named after Qaspar de Portola, a Spanish explorer.

Balboa Park
Named after Vasco Nunez de Balboa, a Spanish explorer.

 

Related post:

– Manhattan’s hidden etymologies

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