Place names are like fossil poetry. They afford a kind of folk history, a snapshot in time that enables us to read in them a record of important events, and reconstruct something of the members of a culture at the time they assigned names to the places they saw. The United States has over 3.5 million place names, and there is no part of the world where nomenclature is so rich, poetical, humorous, and picturesque—a tradition to which Arizona has had more than its share of contributions. In this lively presentation, Arizona writer and historian Gregory McNamee talks about the “Four P’s” of Arizona place names, examining the history of venues from Ali Shonak to Zephyr.
Gregory McNamee is a writer, editor, photographer, and publisher. He is the author of forty books and of more than five 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. For more about him, visit his web page at www.gregorymcnamee.com.