This image is the cover for the book Texas Place Names

Texas Place Names

“[A] linguist . . . takes readers on a tour across the state, using names and language to tell its history.” ―Alcalde

Was Gasoline, Texas, named in honor of a gas station? Nope, but the name does honor the town’s original claim to fame: a gasoline-powered cotton gin. Is Paris, Texas, a reference to Paris, France? Yes: Thomas Poteet, who donated land for the town site, thought it would be an improvement over “Pin Hook,” the original name of the Lamar County seat. Ding Dong’s story has a nice ring to it; the name was derived from two store owners named Bell, who lived in Bell County, of course. Tracing the turning points, fascinating characters, and cultural crossroads that shaped Texas history, Texas Place Names provides the colorful stories behind these and more than three thousand other county, city, and community names.

Drawing on in-depth research to present the facts behind the folklore, linguist Edward Callary also clarifies pronunciations (it’s NAY-chis for Neches, referring to a Caddoan people whose name was attached to the Neches River during a Spanish expedition). A great resource for road trippers and historians alike, Texas Place Names alphabetically charts centuries of humanity through the enduring words (and, occasionally, the fateful spelling gaffes) left behind by men and women from all walks of life.

“[A] quite useful book.” ―Austin American-Statesman

Edward Callary, Jean K. Callary

Edward Callary with Jean K. Callary Austin, Texas Edward Callary is a professor emeritus of linguistics at Northern Illinois University, where he specializes in pronunciation change and onomastics (name study). His previous books include Wisconsin Place Names and Place Names of Illinois. Jean K. Callary is a writer and editor living in Austin.

University of Texas Press