San Everything

I just don’t get Californians.

Why is it San Francisco, San Mateo, San Ramon, etc? Why not just Francisco, Mateo, and Ramon?

From Wikipedia:


It seems to me that, once you start putting the same empty syllable in front of words, the syllable loses all meaning. It’s like saying “Foo Capistrano, Foo Leandro, Foo Pablo”.

I wonder how many man-hours have been lost typing “San ” in front of all of these city names. How much extra signage space has been used up in all of the business names that include the names of these cities and towns?

And why use “San” and “Santa”, anyway? Somebody said “Santa means that it’s a female saint that it’s being named after.”

Oh, yeah? Then explain Santa Claus.

…but that’s just more Californication. Sure, other states have Sancities – Texas and Arizona come to mind – but nowhere near as many, by an order of magnitude. And I’ll bet that Arizona has Santowns because they want to be a little California (at least, that’s the case for Phoenix. It’s just LA with cactus. Tucson actually is a real Hispanic city, but that’s another long post – one that I did years ago, and which disappeared when I lost all of my Go Daddy stuff. But I’m not bitter!)

But I’ve been thinking about this State of California. They may or may not know it, but the rest of the country – at least, those folks in the flyover states – tend to think of Californians in certain ways. Californians (we think) are sort of shallow wastrels – they are very wealthy, they spend their time in trivial pursuits that the rest of the country sees as frivolous, they seem to have loose standards of behavior, they let fashion and convenience substitute for tradition and principle.

In short (it seems to me) Californians are to Americans as Americans are to the rest of the world.

We Americans are the world’s Californians.

That would make Californians the most American of Americans.

And that is a thought that leaves me disquieted.

  1. hinkmond said:

    Says the man with a new 70″ Sharp Aquos Quattron LED TV. Our TV is so small (how small is it?), that if you try watching “Sanford & Son” on it, all you would see would be just “San”. And, Pleasanton Californians are not representative of all Californians. I would think the homeless, office janitorial workers, hotel/fast food/restaurant workers, nurses, civil servants, truck drivers, delivery persons, construction workers, farmers, and teachers (especially teachers) throughout the state would tend to say they are not wealthy at all, spend most of their time just trying to survive, are hard working (when they can find a job), are law-abiding honest folk, and are not shallow at all. Unfortunately, you might be falling into the trap thinking that all Californians are high tech workers, which the majority of Californians are not. But, that might be the majority of people you might interact with during the day, who I would say are not the majority of Californians. Heck, Reagan came from one of the most conservative enclaves in the nation, Orange County, Calif. which as another large group within California (Conservative Republicans), would not represent most of California either. The spectrum of diversity out here makes it hard to pin down what exactly a “typical” Californian is….

    • I think that my post said that most Americans – at least those in the flyover states – see Californians this way. That’s born out through anecdote and culture. When you folks out here come up with some silly new trend – some new eco-fad or designer drug or fashionable religion or what-have-you – the rest of the country just sorta rolls their eyes and goes “Oh, yeah. California.”

      My perception of their reactions may be inaccurate, but I think that those perceptions are what I’m supposed to talk about on this blog ; )

  2. allly-handro said:

    Como dice que dijo?

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