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Old 01-30-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: La Cañada
459 posts, read 290,485 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fontucky View Post
My city's name, thankfully, has nothing to do with religious delusions and subjugation/murder of Native Americans. It means "fountain" in Italian.

EDIT: My county's name, on the other hand... some random saint probably best known for diddling little altar boys.
You live in Fontana, eh? Fontucky, guys, is a common name for Fontana.

Hope the wind doesn't blow you away, dude.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:19 PM
 
Location: In them thar hills
7,778 posts, read 8,941,640 times
Reputation: 3883
(Hillbilly) Arrrrrrrr ... PAPISTS!!!! .... Ahm a gittin' mah ol' bess an gunna spray buck shot ... (/Hillbilly)

Obviously some comical entertainment ...
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties
6,390 posts, read 2,859,396 times
Reputation: 2622
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCalifornianWriter View Post
You live in Fontana, eh? Fontucky, guys, is a common name for Fontana.

Hope the wind doesn't blow you away, dude.
so the pilgrim just figures out California has religious place names, and this guy just discover Fontana.

Just so ya'll know, my California town does not have a religious name, although Spanish.

It is, the Big Ditch.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:37 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
5,511 posts, read 6,477,710 times
Reputation: 6064
Quote:
Big Ditch
And you know how that geographical feature occurred?
What José said to his old lady....just transpose the first two letters.

Actually, "arroyo" always denotes water. "Stream" is the generally agreed upon definition.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:05 PM
 
Location: San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties
6,390 posts, read 2,859,396 times
Reputation: 2622
Snort, you bring up a couple of interesting questions. I have never heard arroyo used as stream, but of gully or gulch.

I wonder if, in the Spanish spoken in California early in the 19th century it had a meaning different than stream.

There are lots of Arroyos in central CA, generally ephemeral gulches.

Your next question, where did it come from? The name was first applied to Ranch Arroyo Grande, on the headwaters of what came to be known as the Arroyo Grande Creek, and there was no gulch or gully, although, based on your definition.. There was the small stream. But certainly Grande fits no where.

A lot of people thought the name referred to the current deep declivity the creek flows through on its way through town, but, that was cut in a flood in 1883, prior to that the creek had no channel and wandered from side to side through the valley and was known as a monte or cienaga.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
5,511 posts, read 6,477,710 times
Reputation: 6064
My wife's from the old country and I asked her just to be sure. But, you never know. Words change meaning over time. I'll see what I can find out online.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:23 PM
 
Location: San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties
6,390 posts, read 2,859,396 times
Reputation: 2622
We have a good friend upper class Panamanian, she says the Spanish she hears here has differences. When she talks to Mexican Americans they know immediately she is not from Mexico. I imagine there are regional differences in Spanish like in English. There is a section in the Sierra where the small streams are called stringers, and the east has brooks, etc.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:35 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,591 posts, read 18,455,159 times
Reputation: 15983
Where I grew up (San Juan Capistrano) a "zanja" was a ditch.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:36 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,591 posts, read 18,455,159 times
Reputation: 15983
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCalifornianWriter View Post
Hope the wind doesn't blow you away, dude.
It tries its damnedest.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:38 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
5,511 posts, read 6,477,710 times
Reputation: 6064
Off the Barbara topic, but for anyone who wants an excellent translation site, this one is the best!
gully - English-Spanish Dictionary - WordReference.com

And there are definitely regional variations of Spanish!
My guess though is that the explorers had found some watercourse there when they hit upon the area, and I'd further guess that whoever named it, didn't have too extensive a vocabulary. "Big Stream"? Sort of mutually exclusive terms there.
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