H.L. Mencken (18801956). The American Language. 1921.
(N. Y.) was named by Pennsylvanians and New Englanders, i. e., Yankees. Colwich (Kansas) is a telescope form of the name of the Colorado and Wichita Railroad. There are two Delmars in the United States. The name of one is a blend of Delaware and Maryland; the name of the other (in Iowa) was made by using the names (i. e., the initials of the names) of six women who accompanied an excursion that opened the railroad from Clinton, Iowa.65 In the same state Le Mars got its name in exactly the same way. Benld (Ill.) is a collision form of Benjamin L. Dorsey, the name of a local magnifico; Cadams (Neb.) is a collision form of C. Adams; Wascott (Wis.) derives from W. A. Scott; Eleroy (Ill.) from E. Leroy; Bucoda (Wash.) is a blend of Buckley, Collier and Davis; Gilsum (N. H.) is a blend of Gilbert and Sumner; Paragould (Ark.) is a blend of W. J. Paramore and Jay Gould; Marenisco (Mich.) is named after Mary Relief Niles Scott; Miloma (Minn.) derives its name from the first syllable of Milwaukee, in the name of the Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis & St. Paul Railroad, and the first two syllables of Omaha, in the name of the Chicago, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad; Gerled (Iowa) is a blend of Germanic and Ledyard, the names of two nearby townships; Rolyat (Ore.) is simply Taylor spelled backward; Biltmore (N. C.) is the last syllable of Vanderbilt plus the Gaelic Grundwort, more.
The Geographic Board, in its laudable effort to simplify American nomenclature, has played ducks and drakes with some of the most picturesque names on the national map. Now and then, as in the case of Purgatoire, it has temporarily departed from this policy, but in the main its influence has been thrown against the fine old French and Spanish names, and against the more piquant native names no less. Thus, I find it deciding against Portage des Flacons and in favor of the hideous Bottle portage, against Cañada del Burro and in favor of Burro canyon, against Cañonsy Ylas de la Cruz and in favor of the barbarous Cruz island.66 In Boug re landing and Cañon City it has deleted the accents. The name of the De Grasse river it has changed to Grass. De Laux it has changed to the intolerable Dlo.
Note 65. Louise Pound: Blends, Anglistische Forschungen, heft 42, p. 10. [back]
Note 66. Canada goes the United States one better, with Ste. Anne de la Boundary Line! [back]