Do you know how these cities got their names?

Heather Cahill

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

The origin of city names can have interesting stories, or they can be quite straightforward! Think you know where the cities of the world got their names? Take the quiz to find out!

What city got its name from a tribe called "Mexica?"

Mexico City got its name from a tribe called "Mexica." Hernan Cortes coined the name that still exists today from the Mexica tribe.

What city's name was shortened from "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Little Portion?"

Los Angeles got its name as a shortened version of this long name. Spanish settlers had given the city its previous name.

What city was named after Alexander the Great?

Alexandria was named after Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great founded the city in the year of 331 BCE, and it is said that he also designed the plan for the city.

What city got its name from the Odawa tribe?

Ottawa took its name from the Odawa tribe that lived near the area. The name Odawa is thought to have meant "traders."

What city is said to have received its name from the words "Edwin's Fort?"

Edinburgh is said to have received its name from the words "Edwin's Fort." Before it was named Edinburgh, it was called "Castle Rock."

What city got its name after an offering from Poseidon and Athena?

Athens got its name after an offering from Poseidon and Athena. The citizens were the ones who chose which of the two the city would be named after.

Is it true or false that the city of Vancouver is named after George Vancouver?

The city of Vancouver is indeed named after George Vancouver. He was the founder of the city and an explorer.

What city was named from a word used by the Iroquois?

Toronto was named from a word that was used by the Iroquois. The word meant, "where there are trees in water."

What city got its name from the Danish word "København?"

Copenhagen got its name from the Danish word "Køpenhavn." "Køpenhavn" translates to "merchant's harbor" in English.

Is it true or false that the name Philadelphia is the Greek word for "sisterly love?"

The name Philadelphia comes from the Greek word for "brotherly love." The city often goes by it's nickname, the "City of Brotherly Love."

Which city gets its name from the words "dubh" and "linn?"

Dublin gets its name from the words "dubh" and "linn." The words are Gaelic for "black" and "pool". When merged together they make the name of the city we know today.

What city got its name from a river that ran through it, and a dam?

Amsterdam got its name from the river that ran through the city, and a dam. Before its current name, it had also taken on the name "Amsteldam," after the Amstel River.

Is it true or false that Wichita takes its name from a nearby tribe?

It is true. Wichita takes it name from the Wichita Tribe. The Wichita Mountains also take their name from the tribe.

Which city was named after a president?

Washington D.C. was named after President George Washington. "D.C." stands for the District of Columbia.

What city gets its name from the Parisii tribe?

Paris gets its name from the Parisii tribe. The tribe had lived in the area prior to the official naming of Paris, when the city was known as Lutetia.

What city got its name from the merging of three cities?

Budapest got it name from the merging of three cities. These cities were "Buda," "Obuda," and "Pest," which collectively make the Budapest we know today!

What city gets its name from the phrase "kasozi k'empala?"

Kampala gets its name from the phrase "kasozi k'empala." In English, this translates to "hill of the antelopes," due to the abundance of hills and the great number of antelopes that live in the area.

Which city got its name after Spanish colonists found the previous name hard to pronounce?

Lima was previously called "Limaq." The name was changed to "Lima" because many Spanish words ended in vowels, making the word easier for the colonists to pronounce.

What city gets its name from a Masaai phrase?

Nairoi gets its name from a Masaai phrase known as, "Enkare Nyrobi." The English translation of the phrase means, "cool water."

Is it true or false that Detroit was named after the Detroit River

It is true. Detroit was named after the Detroit River by the French settlers. They called the Detroit River, "le détroit du Lac Érie."

What city got its name from its time as a fishing village?

Panama City got its name from when it was a fishing village. The word "Panamá" translates to "many fish" in English.

What city was almost named "Albion?"

Sydney was almost named "Albion." It was officially named Sydney after the Secretary of State of the same name.

What city's name was inspired by the hot springs found there?

The city of Reykjavik's name was said to have been inspired by the hot springs that can be found there. The name also used to be known as "Reykjarvik" but the extra "r" has since been dropped.

What city was named after twins?

Rome was named after the twins Remus, and Romulus. They built the city in the place that a wolf had rescued them, giving us the beautiful city we know today.

Is it true or false that Seoul's name came from the native word "seo'ul?"

It's true that Seoul's name came from the native word "seo'ul." "Seo'ul" actually translates directly into "capital city" in English.

According to legend, which city was named from Phoenician words meaning "enchanting port?"

According to legend, Lisbon was named by the words "Allis Ubbo," which translates to "enchanting port" in English. It is said to have been named by Ulysses.

What city gets its name from white ash trees that are found in it?

Fresno gets its name from the white ash trees that can be found in it. The word "fresno" is Spanish for these trees.

Can you fill in the blank?: ____________ gets it's name from the Phoenician word for "well."

Beirut gets its name from the Phoenician word "ber'ot" which means "well" in English. The city is known for having plenty of sources of water.

Is it true or false that Dar es Salaam means "haven of peace?"

It is true that Dar es Salaam means "haven of peace." The city was once the capital of Tanzania, but Dodoma is now the new capital city.

Which city was named after two settlers tossed a coin?

Portland was named after two settlers tossed a coin. The other option for the name was Boston. The settlers wanted the city named after their hometown.

Is it true or false that Antananarivo means "City of Four Thousand?"

It is false. Antananarivo means "City of Thousand." It is said to have received its name from the number of soldiers who were assigned to guard it.

Can you fill in the blank?: Tokyo's name means __________________.

Tokyo's name means eastern capital. Before receiving the name Tokyo, the city was called Edo. It was named along with two other cities in Japan, Osaka and Kyoto.

What city's name translates to "the meadows?"

Las Vegas' name translates to "the meadows." It was named after its grassy areas and the springs that were found in the area.

Which city had its original name restored after it was changed to "Christiania?"

Oslo was the original name of the city that we know today. Its name was changed to Christiania, and later restored back to Oslo.

What city got its name from a town in England?

Boston got its name from a town in England. It was named by the colonists who came over to the United States from England.

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