Take a spin down Paseo Cerveza or Alameda de las Pulgas and soak in the golden California sun. But did you know you’ll actually be driving down Beer Boulevard or Mall of the Fleas? Readers will learn the stories behind these romantic-sounding but sometimes inaptly named locales and much more in an incredible and comprehensive study of Spanish place names in use today in California.
Husband-and-wife team Barbara and Rudy Marinacci delve into the history of more than 1,500 Spanish words and place names, which are the most widely used and recognizable names for California’s historical and geographic features.
Everyone knows “The City of Angels,” an adaptation of Los Angeles’s English translation. But readers will discover that Los Angeles, or “the angels,” is actually an abbreviation of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, meaning, “The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels.”
California’s Spanish Place Names: What They Mean and the History They Reveal examines the place-naming process, and why certain names have “stuck” while others have either changed or vanished completely. Part guidebook, part history lesson and part Spanish tutorial, this book is a fun and informative one-of-a-kind look at the popularity of California’s Spanish place names. It’s a must-have for any Californian or visitor to the Golden State. Readers will want one to keep at home for quick reference as well as one to keep in the car for those spontaneous road trips through the magnificent valleys, villages and vistas in the great state of California.
Barbara Marinacci is a freelance writer and editor, with six nonfiction books to her credit. She currently works as a consultant to nonprofit organizations and takes a special interest in mental health, education and ethnic-minority issues.
Rudy Marinacci is a graphic designer and advertising consultant. He did the illustrations for California’s Spanish Place Names, and also provided photographs for the Marinaccis’ other book Take Sunset Boulevard.