Place names are like fossil poetry: they afford a kind of folk history, a snapshot in time that enables us to read them and reconstruct how people have assigned names to the places to which they come. The U.S. has over 3.5 million place names, and there is no part of the world where nomenclature is so rich, poetic, humorous, and picturesque – a tradition to which Arizona has had more than its share of contributions. In this presentation, McNamee examines the history of Arizona place names, using lively anecdotes to discuss the little-known stories behind names on the land.
Gregory McNamee is a writer, editor, photographer, and publisher. He is the author of thirty-six books and of more than four thousand articles and other publications. He is a contributing editor to the Encyclopædia Britannica, a research fellow at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona, and a lecturer in the Eller School of Management, also at the University of Arizona.