“Albuquerque”, what’s in a name…

For someone who’s never been to Albuquerque, I feel as if I’ve always known quite a bit about it.  Boise State plays the University of New Mexico football team tonight in Albuquerque.  I know exactly where I first heard of the city.  It was in Bugs Bunny cartoons.  More than once, Bugs emerged from digging tunnels into unfamiliar surroundings and said, “I should took a left turn at Albuquerque (pronounced Alba-koykee).”  He also frequently mentioned Cucamonga and Pismo Beach.

People who live in Albuquerque know there are two ways to spell it.  There’s “Albuquerque”, which is the official name of the city, and “Alburquerque”, which is the actual spelling of the name of the guy Albuquerque is named after, the Duke of Alburquerque.  The Boise Hawks one season had a pitcher named Al Alburquerque.  He’s not the one it’s named after, but he could be a descendant.  Alburquerque is a town in Spain, but the word “Alburquerque” is Portuguese.  But as far as the variable spellings thing goes, people from Cleveland know about the phenomenon, too, as the city of Cleveland was named after a guy who spelled it “Cleaveland”.  General Moses Cleaveland, to be precise.

Spelling was different hundreds of years ago.  There were no well-known dictionary, so people spelled words and names any way they wanted to.  There was also no compulsary education.  Usually, words were simply sounded out.  My last name, “Walton”, can be traced back to England and connected with “Wauton”, “Waldon”, “Walden”, “DeWald” and “DeWalt”.  The name comes from the old English word “wald”, meaning “forest”.  And “wald” changed over the years to become “wood” and “woods”.  When English dictionaries were first written, buys like Noah Webster simply attempted to find an agreed-upon way to spell things.  There’s an old myth that the word “golf” means “gentlemen only, ladies forbidden”, but it’s not true.  In Scotland and the Netherlands, where the game originated, you can find references to it spelled “golph”, “goff” and “gawf”.

I’ve worked with a number of people who have also worked in Albuquerque, including past KBOI personalities Ken Weaver, Andrew Paul and David Allen.  Each of them said that when they first moved to Boise, it reminded them of Albuquerque, apart from considerably less Spanish influence.

The name “Albuquerque”, like many other words of European origin, comes from Latin.  It derives from “albus quercus”, which means “white oak”.  The town of Alburquerque in Spain is the center of Spain’s cork industry because of its location within forests of trees known as “cork oaks”.  Cork oak wood is used to make corks, and when its bark is stripped away, the wood is white.

Albuquerque has a few nicknames.  My favorite is “Burque”, because it doesn’t make a great deal of sense.  It would be like calling Boise “Boz”.  My second favorite is “Q”, since the word “Albuquerque” is one of the few words you’ll find with two instances of the letter “Q”.  My least favorite, which originates from its namesake, is “The Duke City”.  I’m sure that at one time, that was a very regal and royal-sounding nickname, but probably not so much anymore.  It reminds me of a euphemistic story about Albuquerque’s second-ranked UPS driver, known as “Big Brown’s Number Two in the Duke City”.  Not to spoil the ending for you, but he ends up retiring to Los Banos, California.  And not to spoil the whole story, but I just made it up on the spot.

There is no custom code to display.

Blogs

Marshall University, a respectable opponent

Marshall University, a respectable opponent

Marshall University, Friday night’s Boise State football opponent, is most famous for one thing: a plane crash that happened in 1970. You know about it if you saw the 2006 movie “We Are Marshall” or the documentary “Marshall University: Ashes to Glory” from 2000. The Marshall Thundering Herd football team was returning from a 17-14…

The weekend that could have been

The weekend that could have been

Labor Day Weekend is upon us, and with it the opening game of the Boise State football season.  This year’s opener is on the road against Florida State.  They were supposed to play in Jacksonville, Florida at the home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.  Technically, it was a game being played on a neutral field. …

BLOG: All In on Hank Bachmeier

BLOG: All In on Hank Bachmeier

Rick Worthington BLOG: All In on Hank Bachmeier Just speaking for myself, I’m very happy with the Broncos decision to start true Freshman, Hank Bachmeier at Quarterback on Saturday against Florida State. Yes, he certainly lacks experience, but I think his ability to throw the football will show why Coach Harsin chose Bachmeier to be…

Can Money Be Used as a Weapon?

Can Money Be Used as a Weapon?

On Monday, August 5th, we learned about China’s retaliation to tweets and threats made the prior August 1st by President Trump.  Trump tweeted: “…on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250…