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List of place names of French origin in the United States

Several thousand place names in the United States have names of French origin, some a legacy of past French exploration and rule over much of the land and some in honor of French help during the American Revolution and the founding of the country (see also: New France and French in the United States). Others were named after early Americans of French, especially Huguenot, ancestry (Marion, Revere, Fremont, Lanier, Sevier, Macon, Decatur, etc.). Some places received their names as a consequence of French colonial settlement (e.g. Baton Rouge, Detroit, New Orleans, Saint Louis). Nine state capitals are French words or of French origin (Baton Rouge, Boise, Des Moines, Juneau, Montgomery, Montpelier, Pierre, Richmond, Saint Paul) - not even counting Little Rock (originally "La Petite Roche") or Cheyenne (a French rendering of a Lakota word), compared to only two that are Spanish (Sacramento and Santa Fe). Fifteen state names are either French words / origin (Delaware, New Jersey, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Vermont) or Native American words rendered by French speakers (Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Wisconsin), versus eight state names that are Spanish or Spanish rendered (California, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah).

The suffix "-ville," from the French word for "city" is common for town and city names throughout the United States. Many originally French place names, possibly hundreds, in the Midwest and Upper West were replaced with directly translated English names once American settlers became locally dominant (e.g. "La Petite Roche" became Little Rock; "Baie Verte" became Green Bay; "Grandes Fourches" became Grand Forks). In contrast, Spanish place names in the Southwest were generally not replaced by English names.

Contents

AlabamaEdit

AlaskaEdit

ArizonaEdit

ArkansasEdit

CaliforniaEdit

ColoradoEdit

ConnecticutEdit

DelawareEdit

FloridaEdit

GeorgiaEdit

Hawai'iEdit

IdahoEdit

IllinoisEdit

IndianaEdit

IowaEdit

KansasEdit

KentuckyEdit

Cities

Counties

LouisianaEdit

MaineEdit

MarylandEdit

MassachusettsEdit

MichiganEdit

MinnesotaEdit

MississippiEdit

MissouriEdit

MontanaEdit

NebraskaEdit

NevadaEdit

  • Frenchman
  • Frenchman Flat
  • Lamoille
  • Montreux
  • Pioche, named after François Louis Alfred Pioche, a financier who purchased the town in 1869
  • Reno, named after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the American Civil War. (Reno's family name was a modified version of the French surname "Renault")
  • Valmy, named after the place in France of a famous battle during the Revolutionary period.

New HampshireEdit

New JerseyEdit

New MexicoEdit

  • Bayard (named for George D. Bayard, Union general in the Civil War of French ancestry)
  • Clovis (named for Clovis, first Christian King of the Franks)

New YorkEdit

North CarolinaEdit

North DakotaEdit

OhioEdit

OklahomaEdit

OregonEdit

PennsylvaniaEdit

Rhode IslandEdit

South CarolinaEdit

South DakotaEdit

TennesseeEdit

TexasEdit

UtahEdit

VermontEdit

VirginiaEdit

WashingtonEdit

West VirginiaEdit

WisconsinEdit

WyomingEdit

U.S. Virgin IslandsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Pinardville NH Home Page". Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  2. ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Cheyenne

External linksEdit

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