Finding America

Me and Tarah

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Hello, I’m Laurence and I’m on a quest to uncover all of the memos that Britain and America lost in the pond and one of those memos pertains to place names. All across America, there are places bearing the mark of countless other cultures, including Native American, French, German, and Spanish.

But of particular interest to Lost in the Pond are the towns and cities named after those of my homeland. Up and down New England, and various states across the land, the United States is peppered with English namesakes, such as Boston, Massachusetts, Manchester, New Hampshire, and England, Arkansas.

Invariably, such names were given by English settlers, who sought to both honor their home cities and to colonize the New World. And while the YouTube algorithm wouldn’t look kindly on me if I addressed all 28 billion cases in one video, there are a very select few that went above and beyond with the whole naming convention thing.

You see, recently, something quite extraordinary came to my attention, and I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed it until now. I was just enjoying another typical Friday night trying to figure out whether or not the census bureau was right to classify Delaware as part of the south, when I realized something funny about that very state. Delaware’s capital of Dover was located... in Kent County. 

Now, not only is Dover, Delaware named after the famous town on England's south-east coast, but that very same town is located in the English county of Kent. In other words, the two cities shared the same county name. So excuse me while I add that to the pub quiz! What are the chances? 

Actually, it turns out they're fair-to-decent. 

You see, after doing a bit of digging, I discovered that Dover, Delaware, was not alone. Up in America's north-east, there exists a handful of other Englishly named cities that bear the same county name as their English counterparts. Sure, U.S. counties might be less generous with the “shire” suffix and English counties might not let you know they’re counties by adding on the word “county”, but keep this in mind: “shire” comes from Anglo-French to mean - you guessed it - county. So Warwickshire, for example, is just another way of saying Warwick County. By the way, there used to be one of those in Virginia.
And so, without further ado, here are 8 cities that took English-naming to a whole new level.

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Laurence Brown is a British writer and YouTuber who somehow convinced the city of Chicago to let him in. He is an English Language graduate from Lancaster University and a passionate word etymologist, with a particular interest in British and American neologisms. Since moving to the United States, he has become increasingly curious about Britain's historical influence on American culture and about America in general.

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