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Question:
How did Brooklyn get its name?


Answer:   Brooklyn is the anglicized ("corrupted into english") form of the Dutch word Breuckelen and it is named after the municipality of Breukelen, in Utrecht province, in the Netherlands (you can see it on a map here).

When the Dutch settled western Long Island they established a village near what are the present-day neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. They called it "Breukelen" after the town of Breukelen in Holland.

Europeans who came to New York (then called "New Amsterdam") did so as agents of the Dutch West Indies Company, and New Amsterdam became a territory of the Netherlands (also known as Holland).

After a war between England and Holland in 1667 (the second Anglo-Dutch War), the Dutch gave New Amsterdam, which included Breukelen, to the English. In exchange, the Dutch were allowed to keep their colony in Surinam.

After the English re-took control of New Amsterdam, the residents gradually "converted" various Dutch place-names into English equivalents -- anglicized them -- by gradually changing the spelling of some words and the pronunciation of others.

So "Breukelen" eventually became "Brooklyn"..-- it sounds roughly the same in Dutch and English, it's just spelled differently.

A commonly-found translation for "Breukelen" from Dutch is "Broken Land" (or more correctly "fractured lands"). - this may be the origin of the name.

A few places you've probably heard of have actually kept their dutch names: Staten Island is named after the Dutch parliament (the Staten-Generaal), and Yonkers is the dutch term referring to the "young gentleman" who was granted the land in the area in 1645.


So...why is Brooklyn called Brooklyn? Because the Dutch word "Breuckelen" got turned into "Brooklyn" by the english-speaking settlers who came to the area after the Dutch. As for the "Crooklyn" nickname? Blame Spike Lee for that one. You could ask people up and down the borough for a whole week and not find somebody else who calls it that.


Leading up to consolidation of the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx into greater New York City, a proposal was made (by merchants and real estate people, naturally) to rename the entire city "New York" and break it down regionally so that Brooklyn and Queens would called "NEW YORK EAST", Staten Island would be called "New York South", the Bronx "New York North" and Manhattan "New York West." The proposal didn't really get off the ground, as you can imagine.

There are, of course, OTHER Brooklyns in the United States. Brooklyn, Michegan (sorta/kinda close to Ann Arbor & Lansing) and Brooklyn, Ohio (outside Cleveland) are the two biggest.Others are in California, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Orgeon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.




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