Meanings and Origins of Names - Los Angeles County


Altadena means "upper dena" or north of Pasadena. The name was first used in 1887.


Alvarado was named after Governor Juan B. Alvarado who served as governor of California under Mexican rule from 1836 to 1842.

Antelope Valley

The Antelope Valley was named after the animals that were once common throughout California.

Baldwin Hills

Baldwin Hills was named after E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin.

Baldwin Park

Baldwin Park was named after E.J. "Lucky" Baldwin.


Bandini was named after Juan Bandini who was an early politically powerful rancher in Southern California.

Bel Air

Bel Air, located in the Westside of Los Angeles, was named after real estate developer Alfonso Bell.

Benedict Canyon

Benedict Canyon was named after Edson Benedict who was a major, early land owner in Los Angeles County.

Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights was named after the founder of the community, Andrew Boyle, which is located in East Los Angeles.


Cahuenga was named after a local Indian Village, that once existed in the area.

Canoga Park

Canoga Park was named after Canoga, New York which obtained its name from the Native American village of Ganogeh.


Castellammare was named after a place in Italy meaning "castle by the sea".


Centinela was named after Rancho de la Centinela, which was once owned by Daniel Freeman.

Century City

Century City was named after 20th Century Fox Motion Picture Company which is located in the Century City section of Los Angeles.

Charter Oak

Charter Oak, located in the San Gabriel Valley, is named after a famous oak tree in Hartford, Connecticut.


Chatsworth, located in the San Fernando Valley, was named after Chatsworth in Devonshire, England.


Dominguez was named after Juan Jose Dominguez who received a large Spanish land grant in 1784.

Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock was named for the large, prominent sandstone rock in the area that resembles an eagle in flight.

EI Sereno

EI Sereno located near Downtown Los Angeles, is the Spanish word for "serene".


Encino is named after "Santa Catalina de Bononia de los Encinos", the Spanish name given to the area in 1769 by the Portola expedition.


Figueroa was named for Jose Figueroa, a former governor of California under Mexico.


Garfield was named for our 20th president of the United States, James Garfield.

Granada Hills

Granada Hills was named after a city in Spain.

Griffith Park

Griffith Park was named after Griffith J. Griffith who donated the land to the City of Los Angeles in 1896 for use as a park.

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory, located in Griffith Park, was named in 1932 for Griffith J. Griffith who donated money to the City of Los Angeles for the construction of the observatory.

Hancock Park

Hancock Park was named after Major G. Allan Hancock in 1916 who donated a large tract of land to the County of Los Angeles.

Highland Park

Highland Park, originally known as Garvanza, was named Highland Park in 1895 when the community was annexed by the City of Los Angeles.

La Brea

La Brea is Spanish for "the tar" which was discovered in the area.

Ladera Heights

Ladera is Spanish for hillside.

Los Feliz

Los Feliz was named after the land grant owned by Jose Feliz.

Mt Wilson

Mount Wilson was named after Benjamin D. "Don Benito" Wilson who was the first American mayor of Los Angeles and the grandfather of General George S. Patton.


Newhall, located in the Santa Clarita Valley, was named after a large land owner, Henry M. Newhall.


Northridge, once known as Zelzah and North Los Angeles, was renamed Northridge in 1935 because the community was located along the north ridge of the San Fernando Valley.

Olvera Street

Olvera Street, located in Downtown Los Angeles, was named after Augustin Olvera, a Mexican resident and both the first County Administrator and first County Judge under United States rule.

Pacific Palisades

Pacific Palisades was named after the seaside bluffs in the area by the local Methodist Church.


Pacoima is a Tongva Indian word meaning "running water".


Pearblossom was named after the pear orchards that were once abundant in the area.


Pico was named after the last Mexican Governor of California, Pio Pico.

Playa del Rey

Playa del Rey, originally named Port Ballona, was an unsuccessful real estate development in 1887. Its name was changed to Playa del Rey in 1902.

Porter Ranch

Porter Ranch was once part of the large ranch owned by George Porter Keating.

Quartz Hill

Quartz Hill was named after the extensive quartz deposits found in the surrounding area.

Rowland Heights

Rowland Heights was named after an early settler, John Rowland, who came to Southern California via the Rowland-Workman Wagon train in 1841.

San Jose Hills

The San Jose Hills were named after the San Jose land grant.

Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina, located in the Channel Islands, was named after St Catherine in 1602.


Sepulveda was named after Francisco Sepulveda, a large local land owner.

Sherman Oaks

The community of Sherman Oaks, in Los Angeles, was named after the developer of the area, Moses Sherman.

Silver Lake

The community of Silver Lake in Los Angeles was named after Herman Silver who was a member of the first Los Angeles Board of Water Commissioners.

Studio City

The community of Studio City, in Los Angeles was named after Republic Studios which opened in the area in 1920.


Sylmar, once the location of extensive olive groves, received its name from combining Latin and Spanish words to mean "Sea of Trees".


The community Tarzana in the San Fernando Valley was named after the famous movie character, "Tarzan" after Edgar Rice Burroughs acquired the Otis Estate in 1917.

Toluca Lake

Toluca Lake is named after an old Aztec word.


Topanga is an Indian name meaning "above place" or "sky". There was once an Indian village in the area located high above Topanga Creek near Malibu in the Santa Monica Mountains.


Tujunga is named after the former Indian village narned Tuyunga which means "mountain range".

Universal City

Universal City was named after the Universal Pictures Company that opened in the area in 1915.


Valencia was named after the type of oranges that grew in the Santa Clarita Valley prior to its development.

Van Nuys

The community of Van Nuys in Los Angeles was named after Isaac N. Van Nuys who was the son-in-law of Isaac Lankershim. Both were major land owners and developers in Southern California.


Venice was named by developer Abbot Kinney in 1904 who designed the area to be like Venice, Italy.

Verdugo Canyon

Verdugo Canyon was named after Jose Maria Verdugo who received a large land grant from the Spanish Governor Pedio Fages in 1784.


Wilmington was named after Wilmington, Delaware, birthplace of a major land owner in the area, Phineas Banning.


The community of Winnetka in the San Fernando Valley, was named after Winnetka, Illinois by land owner and developer Charles Weeks.

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