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Finding Spanish influence on U.S. place names

Credit: Kidsday illustration / Baron Pinsky, Great Neck

Have you ever wondered where cities and states got their names? Well, many cities and states in the United States actually come from Spanish words!

Many city names in California come from Spanish words. For example, Santa Cruz is Spanish for “holy/sacred cross,” San Diego means “St. Diego,” and Los Angeles means “the angels” in Spanish. Another example is San Antonio in Texas, or “St. Anthony.”

Some states that have Spanish names are Montana, Florida and Nevada. Montana means “mountains” in Spanish, Florida comes from “Pascua Florida,” meaning “feast of flowers,” and Nevada means “snow-covered” in Spanish.

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