Street Name Etymology

West

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If we're going to re-name the street with something rebranded to reflect the Red Sox, and also be historically accurate, it could be named Sold At Low Price Street. That's pretty cumbersome, I know, so they could do it as an acronym: SALP Street, with little plaques under each street sign to explain the acronym to tourists.

However awkward the name might look, it does accomplish the following:
1) It's accurate to the history of the Sox and the City and how the two have handled this street.
2) It's not racist.
3) It would help with the branding of the Red Sox, along the lines of: "you're going to get financially gouged paying to get in this park, and you're going to get financially gouged by vendor prices after you're in, so you may as well be reminded of how you got gouged by the transaction to sell this "street" on the cheap back in 2013.
 
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statler

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I just saw "Jimmy Fund Drive"

It's cheesy but I kinda like it.
 

Arlington

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Could someone remind me of what the Big Book of Boston Streetname Origins is actually called, and where it can be found?

This is about Pinckney Street, which Wikipedia says is named for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a Federalist from South Carolina, nominated as Adam's Veep in 1800 and then nominated for President in 1804 and 1808. His Wikipedia entry claims the street, but would the street history claim the man? (the timing and politics are perfect for getting a street on then-new Beacon Hill, but the Pinckneys were a multi-generation, multi-cousin dynasty)

But yeah, totally a product of slave trading and plantation slaving.

If you had to rename the street after his less-controversial mother (Kinda like renaming the Fitzgerald Expressway after Honey Fitz's less-controversial daughter, Rose Kennedy, or renaming Brown things after only Moses Brown), it is hard to come up with a better slaver/planter than his mother Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who had the idea and made a business of introducing indigo planting to the colonies. (Note the source says "single handedly launched the indigo industry" which is an unfortunate way of describing a woman who had many slave hands)
 

Shepard

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Maybe it's time to rename all streets as either letters or numbers. Letters and numbers never hurt anyone.
 

Arlington

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Maybe it's time to rename all streets as either letters or numbers. Letters and numbers never hurt anyone.
On the whole, I'd say "we" (the political process) is doing a good job of sorting this all out. I think most people can hold in mind several semi-contradictory principles:

1) People are memorialized when they are, in some way, "better" than their era (or just happen to own the land being subdivided)

2) It is an important task of civilization to remember the past and benefit from it, through inspiration (Washington) or don't-let-this-happen-again (Holocaust Memorial)

3) Some memorials were advanced for the exact reasons that we now see as conspicuously wrong, or lifting up people who were "better" for something we now view as clearly worse (e.g. Nathan Bedford Forrest, slave dealer, confederate general, and KKK's first Grand Wizard). Strip those away and N.B.Forrest is, at best, a good-looking rich guy who may have had a change of heart late in life--really not enough to offset his "because" I'd call these the "because" monuments. Nathan Bedford Forrest was memorialized *because* he was the slaver, traitor, and supremacist we now reject, not because of "well-stocked plantations" and his "broad shoulders, full chest, and symmetrical muscular limits."

There seem to be 3 tiers:
"Because" monuments, which I say we're free (even obliged) to take down

"Purposely Overlooking" monuments, like Tom Yawkey getting the racism he exhibited in his business purposely overlooked in memorializing him for not much more than his business. Nobody would say Tom Yawkey got a Way *because* he was a racist. These are tough. I'd like everyone to attempt more finesse in navigating these, but I'd say they often need something like a Jean Yawkey or an Eliza Pinckney to increase the teaching value and decrease the purposeful overlook.

"Oustanding" (for a reason we don't strongly disagree with) or "On Balance" monuments, like to the Founding Fathers, where they advanced an important project (democracy) that is still important to us while otherwise fully-embedded in the flawed past, that we can acknowledge without endorsing, as we would any foreign culture.

I'm inclined to give the early, corrupt Irish mayors their monuments because they at least spoke for the powerless of their age, and gross patronage and corruption were a very "all of society" thing
 
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Shepard

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KKK, KGB, NAZI, CPSU...?
I was thinking sequential numbering/lettering, but yes - thanks for pointing out that certain combinations of letters may spell out words or acronyms that trigger people. It's a strange and not wholly understood property of letters, that.
 

Uncivil_Engineer

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A belated answer to the question of Mass Ave:

So have Boston/Camb/Arlington(then W. Cambridge)/Lexington always agreed on its name, or was "Mass Ave" overlaid on a patchwork of local names, like when Middlesex Turnpike's franchise expired? Or as a nod to DC's Mass Ave, perhaps upon return from the Civil War (that's when and how Arlington (town) got its name).
The name was overlaid on local streets (see below) in 1894. Based on WardMaps and Wikipedia, here are the former streets most recently preceding the renaming:

Boston:
South of Harrison: East Chester Park
Harrison-Shawmut: Chester Park
Shawmut-Tremont: Chester Square
North of Tremont: West Chester Park

Cambridge:
South of Lafayette Square: Front Street
Lafayette Square-Harvard Street: Main Street
North of Harvard Square: North Avenue

Arlington:
Border to border: Arlington Avenue

Lexington:
South of the Common: Main Street
North of the Common: Monument Street

This Cambridge Chronicle article from 1920 has more information (along with info on many other streets in the city).
More information on Mass Ave in Boston.
 

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