Everyone who has heard of New Orleans has most likely heard of Bourbon St. But did you know that Bourbon St. wasn't actually named after the delicious alcoholic beverage we have all come to know and love? Bourbon St, like other streets in the French Quarter was named after one of the royal houses of France at the time the French Quarter was laid out in the 1700's.
Tchoupitoulas St. is one of the longest streetnames in the city and is notoriously mispronounced, if attempted at all! It is said that the name was given by the French to the Native americans in the area. The Choctaw indians occupied the Mississippi delta region before it was colonized, and used to catch a mudfish along the river the French called Choupic. The street runs parallel to the Mississippi and has had various spellings over the centuries. It is pronounced CHOP-a-TWO-liss, but locals will often refer to it as just tchoup (chop).
New Orleans also has many classically named streets named after Greek mythology. Dryades is a street named for the wood nymphs and was the wooded side of town when it was established in the 19th century. The Greek muses are well accounted for in the Lower Garden District where nine streets names for the muses cross Prytania. Prytania was named for the Prytaneum, the hearth that each ancient Greek village had dedicated to the goddess of the hearth, Hestia. Euphrosine is the incarnation of grace and beauty, also known as the Goddess of Mirth. Euphrosine is another of the streets inspired by Greek mythology, along with Calliope (poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (music), and Terpsichore (dancing).
Understanding the names of the well traveled streets of our beautiful city reveals what a rich and multicultural history we have!