List of place names of French origin in the United States

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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, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin), versus nine state names that are Spanish or Spanish rendered (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah).

The suffix "-ville," from the French word for "town" 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.

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawai'i

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Cities

Counties

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

  • 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")

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

  • 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 York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

U.S. Virgin Islands

See also

References

  1. "Pinardville NH Home Page". Retrieved June 2, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Cheyenne