Dantea's Baby Names

{March 5, 2012}   Florida County Names


Name                  Origin                     Meaning

Clay                     English                    This county was named for Henry Clay, the Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams. Short form of Clayton. Clay is another of those cowboy feeling names, but it doesn’t give me the same feeling or image as Boone. Clay makes me think of the sidekick who stays in the background. It’s a name used on soap operas and reality TV and whose popularity is starting to go up. I prefer it in a longer form.

Franklin                English                    “Free landholder” This county was named for Benjamin Franklin, a very well known founding father and inventor. Frank is okay, Franklin reminds me of a green turtle from children’s cartoons and Franklin Roosevelt. The latter isn’t that bad of a name sake in my opinion.

Hernando             Spanish                   “Adventurer, Explorer” This county was named for Hernando De Soto, a Spanish explorer and conquistador. Hernando is attractive and exotic. I love the sound of it and how it rolls off the tongue, but it probably wouldn’t work well on a fair skinned child.

Leon                    Greek                      “Lion” This county is named for Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer who named Florida. Leon is a very attractive Greek variation on Leo, and is one of many Lion-like names popular in Europe right now. I really like Leon. It’s a more serious and mature version of the name Leo.

Martin                  Latin                        “Warlike” Very interesting meaning for such an old fashioned, geeky name. This county was named for John W. Martin, the governor when this county was named. Martin is starting to try to make a comeback, just like Arthur or Vincent or any of those other old man names. It sounds geeky, but there are several great namesakes; Martin Luther (founder of Protestantism), Martin Luther King ( civil rights activist), and eighth President Martin Van Buren.

Walton                 English                    “Fortified town” This county was named for George Walton, first Secretary of Florida Territory. It sound a little more modern than Walter, what with that trending -ton/-on ending, but barely. Walt is nice, but the name still seems old.


Name                  Origin                     Meaning

Charlotte              French                     “Free man” Probably a corruption of the name of the Calusa, a group of Native Americans from the area. I love Charlotte but not enough for my own uses. I think it’s classic and pretty and has a cute, spunky nickname, Lottie.

Madison               English                    “Son of Maud” This county was named after James Madison, fourth President of the United States. Historically and boys name, it’s number 8 on the popularity list for girls. Some parent’s like the upper town feel while some are just trying to come up with another way to get at Maddy. While I don’t usually go for unisex names, this own has been on the girls side for so long now, I can’t imagine it on a boy.

(Santa) Rosa        Latinate Variation      “Rose” This county was named for Santa Rosa island which was named for Santa Rosa de Viterbo of Italy. She was the patron of people in exile and people rejected by religious orders. Rosa is one of the simplest variations on Rose. It is a classic Spanish/Italian name and popular in Britain in the upperclass right now. I find it pretty and simple, but not my favorite Rose variation. It does have the great namesake Rosa Parks though.

Volusia                ????                        The origin of the name of this county is debated. There are three theories though; 1) The name derives from a word meaning “Land of the Euchee.” When the Timucuan Indian cultures died out in the early 1700s, the land in the area was uninhabited until some of the Indian tribes to the north began to migrate into the area. The Euchee Indians were a tribe originally from an area in South Carolina. 2) The name was taken from the name of a British plantation which was located on the St. Johns River in the late 1700s. However, no one has explained where the plantation owner came up with the name. 3) The name is derived from the last name of one of the employees at the trading post. He is described as being well-liked and of Belgian or French descent. The story goes that his name was something like “Veluche,” which was pronounced “Va-loo-shay.” The post became known as “Veluche’s Place,” hence the eventual creation of “Volusia. I suppose that means it’s said Vo-loo-shay, but I was saying Vo-loo-see-uh or Vo-loo-shuh. Either way, I sort of like it. Lucy is a plausible nickname too.


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