Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Among The Poplars Redux

Forgot to explain the subject line in the last post. On the walls of the High Street Station Café in Alameda are a series of museum-quality framed text items which explain some of the history of Alameda and its former place as a major rail and trolley locus. It says there used to be huge oak forests (for which Oakland was named) and it was not an island until a cut was dug between it and Oakland.

One also said the town was named in an election, that Alameda was from the Spanish term for poplar trees, and the voters were told it meant "a stand of poplars".

Which, as anyone familiar with the various Alamedas throughout California knows, is WRONG.

While the root word is  Spanish for poplar, an alameda is a promenade or avenue lined with trees. Poplars would be nice but any species will fit the bill. Naming the town Alameda was on a par with naming a town Freeway or Highway or Overpass.
Tags: language

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