Quiz: Only a Geography Whiz Knows All of These Cities That Share Names. Do You?
Only a Geography Whiz Knows All of These Cities That Share Names. Do You?
By: Torrance Grey
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Welcome to America! We're a nation of innovators -- except when it's time to name our cities, towns and small, unincorporated townships. Then we borrow. A lot. 

In America's earliest days, colonial settlers named towns after the places in the British Isles they'd left behind. The most famous, of course, is "New York," named after the English city of York. Or, because some of them were devoutly religious, they took geographic names from the Bible. Out West, you'll find a variety of places with the names of saints in Spanish, like Santa Maria. Most of those names are shared with cities throughout Latin America. 

Do you know, for example, the name of the Washington town that Kurt Cobain was born in? It's named for a Scottish fishing port. Or which American city was named after an Egyptian one, which, in turn, was named for a famous conqueror and was home to a vast library of the ancient world? Do you know which California city shares a name with a Central American capital?

Our place names tell us a great deal about our ancestors: Where they came from, what they valued, and the parts of history they chose to honor. So if you're a geography buff or a student of history, you're likely to enjoy this quiz on American place names. Settle in and take a peek into the pages of history! 

1.0 of 35
New York state has a small town called Phoenix. Where is the better-known Phoenix located?
2.0 of 35
Many US states have a Springfield. On which one is the town in "The Simpsons" based?
3.0 of 35
4.0 of 35
Greece and Florida have towns that share this name not just which each other, but with an athletic event, the _________.
5.0 of 35
Both the nation of France and the state of Texas have a _______.
6.0 of 35
New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for its Mardi Gras celebration. Where is the original Orleans?
7.0 of 35
How many US states have a Springfield?
8.0 of 35
California has a sizable San Jose, south of San Francisco. San Jose is also the capital of which nation?
9.0 of 35
Texas has a mid-size city called Odessa. Where would you find the larger Odessa?
10.0 of 35
If you wanted to visit cities named for Athens, Rome, Dublin, and Smyrna, what state would you visit?
11.0 of 35
San Antonio is a very popular town name in Latin America. In the US, the most famous one is in _______.
12.0 of 35
Utica, Tunisia, left only ruins where it used to stand. Where would you find the (still thriving) US city of Utica?
13.0 of 35
Troy, New York, is named after an ancient city in what modern country?
14.0 of 35
__________ is the name of an ancient city in Greece, a modern one in New York, and a university.
15.0 of 35
Kurt Cobain grew up in this town named after one in Scotland.
16.0 of 35
Massachusetts and Oregon both have a city with this name we associate with witch trials. Which is it?
17.0 of 35
The state of Georgia has a town called Bremen. Where would you find the better-known one?
18.0 of 35
The small town of Brandenburg, Kentucky, shares its name with a city where?
19.0 of 35
Saint-Quentin is a small city in France. For what is San Quentin, California, known?
20.0 of 35
Both the vast nation of Russia and the state of Idaho have a ______.
21.0 of 35
Which Middle Eastern country has about 40 US towns named for it?
22.0 of 35
"Riverside" is a common town name in America. Which of these states, though, is home to "UC Riverside"?
23.0 of 35
Austin, Texas, is famous for its laid-back vibe and counterculture. Where is the smaller US town named Austin?
24.0 of 35
Which of these common US city names might have honored a king, a president, or someone else entirely?
25.0 of 35
Ithaca, New York, is home to Cornell University and named for Ithaca, ______.
26.0 of 35
New York's Manhattan is one of the most densely populated islands in the world. Where would you find the Manhattan with about 50,000 residents?
27.0 of 35
Lafayette, Indiana, is home to Purdue University. Where else would you find other cities named Lafayette?
28.0 of 35
Which of these states does NOT have a town called Washington?
29.0 of 35
Which of these American cities shares a name with a port city in Egypt?
30.0 of 35
Which of these US cities shares its name with absolutely no others?
31.0 of 35
Another city that almost certainly doesn't share its name is Show Low. Where would you find it?
32.0 of 35
Memphis, Tennessee, is named for an ancient city in _______.
33.0 of 35
Oregon, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania all have cities named Damascus. Where is the original?
34.0 of 35
Cairo is a well-known and populous city in Egypt. Which of these states has a city named after it?
35.0 of 35
Sidon, Mississippi, is a tiny town named for a port city in ________.
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