A Visual Compendium of Where Houston’s Neighborhood Names Come From

Budding internet etymologist and Albany High School senior Adam Aleksic is out with his latest annotated map (bigger version here), which points out the origins behind some of the Houston area’s most well-known neighborhood names. As you can see in the legend at the top right corner, the author makes a distinction between developers and people — both of which have left their marks in the region’s spacial vernacular. And of course, no map of Houston would be complete without its fair share of wet spots, too, which appear in the meanings behind 6 locations shown above: Lazybrook, Timbergrove, Spring Branch, River Oaks, Clear Lakes, and Denver Harbor.

Image: The Etymology Nerd

Words for Places

11 Comment

  • Sorry but Rice Village was simply “The Village” until some real estate marketers created things like upper Kirby and midtown.

  • I had no idea the George Bush Airport was named after President George Bush.

  • Send this to Channel 13. They call a percentage of these neighborhoods the Heights!

  • I like how its Brays Bayou and the street next to it is spell Braes.

  • The Heights is a glaring omission.

  • Couple of errors.
    I’m done with maps by drawn by outsiders.

  • Awesome! Thanks Adam for this very interesting graphic! I’d heard “Clear” Lake really was clear. Hard to imagine now. And, thanks for your snide, nitpicking comment Jarritow. You really added to the body of knowledge here.

  • @ Jarritow

    Huh? I was calling it “Rice Village” decades before I ever heard the names “Upper Kirby” or “Midtown.”

  • I cannot remember the original source but my recollection is that Clear Lake was “clear” of vegetation / tree roots.

  • Interesting map! I don’t think Braeswood neighborhood is named after the Braeswood Development Company; more likely it’s the other way around or they were named at the same time. I would think Braeswood is a play on the picturesque Scottish word “brae” (hillside, especially along a river) and the nearby Brays Bayou.

  • Wow – this comment section is tough to read. The kid who made it is in high school! How about cutting him a little bit of a break?!