Why The Bronx?

There are five boroughs in New York City: Manhattan (New York County), Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens (Queens County), Staten Island (Richmond County), and The Bronx (Bronx County). Have you ever wondered why The Bronx has “The” in the name while the other boroughs don’t?

Photo credit Matthew Morales, courtesy of the Bronx River Alliance

It all started in 1639 when a Scandinavian, Jonas Bronck, settled in a Dutch colonial province in New Netherland.

“When he dies in 1643 at the age of 43, the only thing that remained that was named after him through the ages was Bronck’s River,” says Bronx borough historian Lloyd Ultan.

Like with many names that can be difficult to say or write, the ‘ck’ was changed to an ‘x’—and the stream of water that ran next to Jonas Bronck’s farm became the Bronx River.

But the present day borough went without a name for more than 200 years until New York City got the land from Westchester County.

“They looked right smack in the middle of a map and there is the Bronx River, so they named it after the river, the borough of the Bronx, and that’s why it’s always called The Bronx and not just plain Bronx,” Ultan says.

The borough is named after the river. That’s named after the man that came from a foreign land in the 17th century.

from Spectrum News NY1

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