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Did you know the name “California” has a Muslim origin?


In 1500 the Spanish writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo wrote a book about a Muslim warrior queen known as Califia. Her name originates from the Arabic word “Khalifah”, meaning leader, which was pronounced “Califa” in Spanish. Montalvo named the land she ruled “California”, meaning “Land of Califia”

When the Spanish explored the Baja California coast in the mid-1500s, they thought the land resembled the mythical California mentioned in Montalvo’s novel, and the name #California stuck