From Philly? How your neighborhood (or one nearby) got its name

Philadelphia may be one of the biggest cities in the country and arguably the most historic, considering it is the birthplace of our country. However, it’s a whole lot more than Old City and historic places like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall that attract tourists from all over the world.

Philadelphia is also known as a city of neighborhoods, and the website BillyPenn.com recently listed the origins of 43 of the city’s neighborhoods’ names.

map philadelphia neighborhoods
Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.dvrpc.org/webmaps/pin/index.htm. Downtown (Center City) is just the small part where you see the city’s name!

It came from research by Albany, NY, high school kid Adam Aleksic, who has actually never visited. Billy Penn says Philly is the sixth city he has probed. Most of the names are British, Italian, Native American, and from immigrants.
Take that, Trump!
Philadelphia is obviously Greek for “brotherly love.”

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Video: the #etymology of sarcasm

A post shared by Adam Aleksic (@etymologynerd) on

Some of the most notable are
Wynnefield: Named for Thomas Wynne, William Penn’s physician,
Moyamensing: Native American origins; possibly meaning “place of pigeon droppings”
and Manayunk: Lenape for “place where we go to drink.”
Despite the years, apparently some things don’t change – but the reason is different than what we first thought.
This is where those three are.

map philadelphia labled
Google Maps with my additions in red

Click here for Adam Aleksic’s entire list.
Click here for his website, “The Etymology Nerd.”
Click here to enter an address and find out which Philadelphia neighborhood it’s in, or just see for yourself how 43 neighborhoods is just the tip of the iceberg.

So we like our video horizontal but it has to be shot vertically for Facebook Live? Been almost a year. I’ll remember that. 🙂
fb 2018 phila fireworks

Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rocky Steps in the background. My building circled in red. Unfortunately, living on the other side of the building meant I had to go outside to see!

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About the author

The journalism “business” has changed — from standards to platforms to layoffs — along with the American public, and I’ve managed to survive somewhat on my own terms.

I started in 1994, becoming an award-winning and respected TV newscast producer.

Even better was creatively producing websites and social media, and serving as a station's digital media manager — writing news, creating graphics and getting evidence of growing my audience here in the nation's fourth largest market, Philadelphia.

I also taught first grade for eight years. My principal saw my class website and made me electronic gradebook manager to assist co-workers when we stopped using paper gradebooks.

In 2018, I took courses and earned the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

In 2019, I was a freelance newspaper reporter, but enjoyed copy editing and reviving the publication’s social media even more.

That got me striking out on my own with a local news website to join the blog I created, designed and write.

Ask me about all the details.

I did drive Uber to make ends meet until I started as a customer service representative at one of the world’s largest web-hosting companies, with more than 8 million customer contracts and hosting more than 12 million domains.

With classroom and newsroom experience, I know how to prioritize, analyze and take the best course of action. Getting results means attention to detail, following through and following up.

Disagree? Let us all know!

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