It's a weird bit of civic pride, sure, but have you thought about how lucky we are to live in a city with as pretty a name as Miami? We could live in some town with a clunk of a name like "Fresno" or "Pittsburgh" or "Fort Lauderdale," but instead we have this short, elegant name that uses just three letters to lead to some awesome word play and design possibilities.
1. You can sneak the word into architectural design and have it come off elegant and not cheesy. Check this wall at the airport.
2. It's also a fun word for graphic designers to play around with.
3. The Italian phrase "Mi Ami" is a rough translation of "You Love Me."
4. Our airport's code is MIA, which is both for its proper name Miami International Airport and the first three letters of Miami, which is nice if you have slight word OCD. Plus, it makes for a nice looking logo.
5. Which also means our airport shares a name with perpetually awesome rapper M.I.A.
6. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Miami-Dade County of course has 34 distinct municipalities which were all free to call themselves whatever they wanted. A large number of them however decided that Miami was such a good name they'd just appropriate it for themselves. So we're left with not only Miami, but also *breath for air* Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Miami Springs, Miami Lakes, Miami Shores, North Miami, North Miami Beach, South Miami and West Miami. In fact, pretty much everyone in the county agreed back in 1997 that Miami was such a good name that we might as well just stick it in front of the county name too, and thus we voted to change the name from Dade County to Miami-Dade County. In fact, no other major city in America has as many nearby cities named after it. There certainly isn't any New York City Shores or Chicago Springs.
7. We also didn't steal the name from Ohio.
There are several places in Ohio that include "Miami" in their name (after the Miami tribe of Native Americans) that date back farther than our own, but we didn't snatch the name. In fact, while some might assume the Miami River is named after the city, it's actually the city that is named after the river. The river was in turn named after the Mayaimi Native American people who lived around Lake Okeechobee. The tribe had taken its name from their original named for the lake, and in fact "Mayaimi" meant "big water." Of course, it will be sad irony if the worst prediction of global warming and sea level rises come to pass and someone points out that Miami's name did originate from a word that meant "big water."
8. It's not quite a palindrome, but it's kind of better. Sure, it's stupid but we love the Mi-A-Mi pattern of the word, and its kind of fun to write MIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMIAMI forever and ever!
9. It's so much better than Flagler.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
At the town's founding most residents wanted to name the town after the railroad mogul Henry Flagler, but he was adamant that he didn't want the city named after him. So they went with Miami instead. And really, could you imagine people from all over the world getting excited to get on planes to come to a place called Flagler, Florida?